WASHINGTON (Agencies): The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, has thanked Pakistan for conferring Hilal-e-Quaid-i-Azam, a high civil award, calling it a testament to the enduring partnership between her organization and the Pakistani people.

The President of Pakistan conferred that award on her on the Pakistan Day in recognition of her “outstanding contribution” towards strengthening Pakistan-U.S. relations.

“The efforts by Ms. Power are a reflection of her commitment to assist the people of Pakistan and forge a strong and deep partnership between Pakistan and the US,” stated the citation that was read out the occasion.

Ms. Power, who has been serving as USAID chief since May 2021, is a proponent of strong Pakistan-US cooperation in humanitarian and socio-economic sectors like health, education and climate change and promoting people to people exchanges.

“As USAID administrator, she was instrumental in the provision of significant life-saving US humanitarian assistance to mitigate the disastrous impacts of the floods in 2022,” the citation said.

In a video message, she also recalled the devastation when one-third of Pakistan was inundated due to devastating floods in 2022.

“I will never forget visiting Pakistan in September of 2022. Flying over the floods, feeling sure that I was flying over an ocean, only to be reminded that the ocean was in fact hundreds of miles away. And there were entire towns submerged under the seemingly infinite expanse of water below.”

She spoke about the support from the highest levels of the White House and both houses of the US Congress that facilitated an assistance of $215 million to the flood affected people.

Ms. Power also referred to the support from private American citizens and American companies who rallied to Pakistan’s aid, donating more than $37 million to support the relief efforts.

“Our mission is helping the people of Pakistan to improve water management systems, build markets for Climate Smart Agriculture technologies and techniques and mobilized climate adaptation finance under the US-Pakistan green Alliance initiative,” Ms. Power said.

“We remain committed to standing with Pakistan as it continues the long and difficult recovery from the floods while building a more resilient and more prosperous future.”

Congratulating Ms. Power on receiving the award, Ambassador Masood Khan said that she is a true friend of the people of Pakistan.

“We will never forget her humanitarian services at a time when we needed them the most,” he said. “With her leadership qualities, she has not only further cemented people-to-people ties between Pakistan and the United States but raised the stature of USAID as an organization.”

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