“We have confidence in government’s ability to deliver,” the ambassador told reporters at the embassy.

The US has committed $76 million for flood-affected people and its total assistance, in cash and kind, amounts to $87 million. Nothing worthwhile, however, has been given bilaterally to the government.

She said the US would funnel its assistance through a variety of mechanisms including the government and local and international NGOs.

She spoke about recent projects for which Islamabad has received cash assistance. The ambassador asked the government to improve its tax collection.

“The tax collection should increase, there are a lot of wealthy people who do not give sufficient taxes, they should contribute”.

Some sectors in the country have been saying that international aid is not being given directly to the government because of reservations about transparency in its utilisation.

These fears have emanated from reported misuse of international assistance after the massive earthquake which hit northern parts of the country in 2005.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi hit out at the media the other day for continuously reporting on the issue of transparency and expressed fears that the criticism could hurt world’s confidence in the government.

Ms Patterson said it was too early to gauge the full magnitude of the disaster.

She also downplayed reports that extremist groups were winning over the victims through their relief efforts, while the international efforts remained inadequate and slow.

“To be blunt, I think these stories about extremist organisations being the only players out there are greatly exaggerated,” the ambassador said.