May 19, 2009

Chairman Kerry Welcomes Humanitarian Aid Package For Pakistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), released the following statement today in response to the Administration's decision to provide Pakistan more than $100 million in humanitarian support:

"I applaud the Administration's pledge of more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for Pakistanis displaced by the violence in Swat valley. Last week, in a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Pakistan, I strongly urged Special Representative Richard Holbrooke to take this important action, and to do so as quickly as possible. The scale of the tragedy demands immediate assistance: Some 2 million civilians have been driven from their homes due to fighting initiated by the Taliban.

"The present emergency carries echoes of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake: following that disaster, the United States provided nearly $1 billion in relief aid—and proved that our nation could be a powerful and faithful friend to the Pakistani people. The legislation that Sen. Lugar and I introduced earlier this month aims to solidify this approach: for the sake of the national security of both of our nations, we seek to demonstrate to the people of Pakistan that we are friends in fair and foul weather alike."

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