US extends $132 million debt relief to flood-hit Pakistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The United States has agreed to suspend loans worth $132 million under the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) framework for Pakistan to assist the South Asian country in its relief, rehab, and reconstruction efforts in the wake of extreme monsoons and record floods.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has signed the second bilateral agreement in this regard, the US Embassy said on Twitter.

The agreement will provide $132 million in US debt relief to Pakistan.

“Our priority is to redirect critical resources in Pakistan,” the US Embassy said in its tweet referring to the historic floods that hit 33 million people and claimed over 1,600 lives across Pakistan since mid-June.

The assistance comes a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attended a ceremony at the embassy to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Blome reaffirmed continuing US support to Pakistan during the difficult recovery process.

“While the water is only now receding and the rebuilding just beginning, the people of the United States continue to stand with Pakistan. We are doing what friends and partners do – support each other when it’s needed most,” the ambassador said.

“While our two democracies have steadfastly stood together over the years, the rapidly changing world provides a pivotal opportunity to reframe the US-Pakistan partnership and recognise that our shared objectives and mutual ambitions go much deeper.”

“When I consider the future of US-Pakistan relations, I see many possibilities to advance our shared interests in trade, investment, clean energy, health, security, education, and other shared priorities. As we look forward to the next 75 years and beyond, I hope you will join me in opening this new door.”

The US ambassador said that the people of the United States would continue to stand with Pakistan.

“The strength of Pakistan-US friendship is demonstrated by more than 66 million dollars in US support for flood response,” the US envoy added.