WASHINGTON (CN) – The United States will send $100 million to Pakistan in humanitarian aid to help the roughly two million Pakistanis who have fled their homes during the recent violence, State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, adding that U.S. policy towards Pakistan over the last 30 years has been “incoherent.”
“We have walked away from Pakistan before with consequences that have not been in the best interest of our security,” said Clinton. “Our policy towards Pakistan during the last 30 years has been incoherent.”
The aid is in addition to the $60 million in United States humanitarian assistance to Pakistanis since last August, and is on top of the $3.4 billion in humanitarian aid the United States contributed since 2002.
“The future of Pakistan is extremely important to the security of the United States. As long as this crisis persists,” Clinton said, “our assistance will continue.”
The aid, she says, “will form stronger bonds for the years ahead.”
The money, which is predominantly distributed through American programs, the United Nations, and non-government organizations, will buy 5,000 tents, 30,000 family relief kits, water trucks, and tents with environmental units for hot weather, among other things.
Clinton also outlined a new approach to the distribution of aid. The money, she said, should be more than for just delivering supplies. It should be an investment. “Money for food will buy Pakistani grains.”
New tools will also be financed and used. A text messaging system, for example, “can be used to alert locals to assistance efforts and help families keep in touch,” Clinton said. “A lot of the Pakistanis being displaced have cell phones.”
She also called on Americans to text the word swat to 20222 if they wish to make a $5 donation to the Pakistani refugees.
This is people to people diplomacy, Clinton said. “We don’t want this just to be government to government.”