The U.S. is launching a new program to provide 21 days of work to approximately 4,800 households in Swat that will help quickly infuse cash into local economies and repair flood-damaged infrastructure.

Swat was one of the first to be hit by the monsoon floods that devastated almost one fifth of Pakistan and left more than 20 million affected in the country, which outnumbers the combined affected people of the recent four major international disasters i.e. 2004 Tsunami, the South Asian quake of 2005, Katrina and 2010 Haiti quake, according to Prime Minister Gilani.

In each target community in the Swat valley, a tool kit is being distributed by the U.S. that includes wheelbarrows, crow bars, shovels, hoes, hammers and steel pans. With these tools, the teams are working to construct roads and repair bridges in flood-damaged areas.

These short-term jobs will allow workers to purchase much needed food and supplies in local markets, spurring economic regeneration and early recovery, according to US embassy spokesman.

The Swat valley is an integral part of the strategic and significant region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where three parts of the Asian continent–South Asia, Central Asia and China, meet.



Some analysts believe the U.S. program of cash-for-work will indeed create not only a better economic-cum-social environment for the flood affected in the valley but will also help build better image for the U.S. among the Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans.

The United States has provided more than $150 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan and has urged the international community to step up to the plate.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has designated the Pakistani Taliban a terrorist group and accused its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, of involvement in a December suicide bombing that killed seven Americans at a forward CIA post in eastern Afghanistan.

Mehsud was thought to have been killed by a U.S. drone strike in January, but he resurfaced in May in videos in which he vowed to attack U.S. cities.

Mehsud’s group claimed responsibility for the May 1 failed bombing of Times Square in New York.

Mehsud is currently a fugitive believed to be residing in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), as the lawless northwestern border region is officially known. Swat was infested with Mehsud supporters until they were killed or pushed out by Pakistan army Ops.