Dan Feldman, the US deputy special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the enhanced appeal would seek funding to rebuild the economy and ensure food security after the floods covered one-fifth of the country.
“The UN has initially given its 460 million dollar appeal. That will be augmented later this week,” Feldman said, ahead of a meeting Sunday at the United Nations on the floods.
But UN figures show that donors have met only about two-thirds of the initial appeal, launched on August 11.
The United States, which has made the fight against Islamic extremism in Pakistan a top priority, has been by far the largest donor, hoping its goodwill will curb anti-American sentiment.
The United States has committed more than 260 million dollars for relief and recovery efforts, about 100 million of which falls under the flash appeal, according to official figures.
Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said that while the government has been generous, ordinary Americans can do more.
“The United States has been the first, with the most so far, among governments and we expect the US commitment as a government to go up. But one thing where the US has not yet reached its full potential is private giving,” Haqqani said.
Haqqani and Feldman were holding a news conference with General Electric, whose charitable arm announced one million dollars for Pakistan to be directed through the World Food Program, making it the largest US corporate donor.
GE has longstanding business interests in Pakistan. But Haqqani said many Americans may have hesitated to help in part due to media coverage that focused on the political fallout of the floods.
“A lot of people in Middle America are not interested in the politics of another country as much,” Haqqani said.
“If they had been told about the tragedy before you started the political analysis, then people would have focused a little bit more, and I think we’ll get there,” he said. -AFP