SUKKUR/ ISLAMABAD    -   The federal government will provide a grant of Rs15 billion to the Sindh government to overcome the heavy losses of lives and infrastructure in the wake of the massive destruction caused by flash floods.

Flanked by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and federal ministers including Bilawal Bhut­to and Syed Khursheed Shah here at Sukkur Bar­rage, the prime minister told reporters that situ­ation demanded rising above politics and helping the flood victims overcome their miseries.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who earlier took an aerial view of the inundated areas of Sukkur 

Rohri, Khairpur, Faiz Ganj, Kot Diji, and Thari Mir Wah, expressed serious con­cern over the loss of lives and infrastruc­ture caused by the floods.

Shehbaz said the grant by the federal government would help the Sindh gov­ernment carry out relief and rehabili­tation activities. He said the coalition government would make collective ef­forts to alleviate the sufferings of the flood victims, adding that it would leave no stone unturned to facilitate the peo­ple who faced unprecedented loss in the wake of floods. He mentioned that over 900 people died due to floods in the last few months, while the situation incurred a heavy toll on crops and livestock as well. He directed the relief and rescue staff to be available round-the-clock on duties to help the flood victims.

He announced the disbursement of Rs 25,000 per household through Bena­zir Income Support Programme (BISP) starting Friday and onwards and said in one week, around Rs 28 billion would be given to the affected people.

PM Sharif lauded Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah for helping the flood-af­fected people across the province. He mentioned that he talked to the army and naval chiefs who assured full sup­port in carrying out relief and rescue op­erations. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhu­tto Zardari said the moment was a test for all political parties of Pakistan to help the people of the country in this hour of need. He thanked the prime minister for his announcement regarding the dis­bursement of compensation money to flood victims through BISP. He said pres­ently, tents were the most needed com­modity and appealed to the philanthro­pists to come forward for contribution.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s General Sec­retary Sindh chapter Rashid Mehmood Soomro stressed joint efforts of the fed­eral and provincial governments be­sides the private sector to help the flood victims. The district administration of Sukkur and the representatives of the Provincial Disaster Management Au­thority (PDMA) briefed the prime minis­ter about the ongoing work for the relief of the flood-stricken people and the re­habilitation of the infrastructure.

The prime minister was apprised that several flood-hit areas faced unavailabil­ity of communication services after se­vere damage to infrastructure in urban and rural areas.

It was told that 43 food relief camps had been set up in Sindh where the peo­ple were being given food and medicines.

In an interaction with the flood-affect­ed people, the prime minister assured to make all-out efforts for their facilitation.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Fri­day interacted with members of the dip­lomatic community in Islamabad to sen­sitize them about the damages caused by floods across the country.

“As part of efforts to mobilize all re­sources, I met Islamabad-based am­bassadors, high commissioners & se­nior members of diplomatic corps today to sensitize them about scale of human tragedy,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.

During the meeting, the representa­tives of the Economic Affairs Division and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) briefed about current status of the challenge and response.

The prime minister said that the on­going rain spell had caused devastation across the country. The losses, though yet to be documented, are comparable to the flash floods of 2010, he added.

He thanked the international commu­nity for their sympathies, condolences and pledges of support.

“Together we will build back better,” he commented. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said considering the ur­gency of the challenge, the government had decided to reach out to friendly countries and donors as flash floods and the torrential rains had badly hit around 33 million people.

The prime minister, who convened a meeting of select Islamabad-based am­bassadors, high commissioners and other senior members of the diplomat­ic corps, to brief them on flood situa­tion, said the ongoing monsoon spell has caused unprecedented damage and dev­astation in Pakistan.