Nations pledge millions in aid to flood-hit Pakistan
August 3, 2010 by staff
Nations pledge millions in aid to flood-hit Pakistan:(The News.com Pk)The international community is mobilising to send aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan, as the country’s weather bureau warned more storms were likely to deepen the humanitarian disaster.
But despite pledges of tens of millions of dollars, concerns remained that only a fraction of the 3.2 million people affected by the flash floods and landslides could access aid.
A UNICEF spokesman said Tuesday that few victims were within reach of help.
“That’s because access is limited in many areas. Many areas remain isolated. The real needs are uncertain because of the magnitude of the floods,” Marco Jimenez told, according to a report.
Up to 1,500 people have died and the livelihoods of farmers in the rural northwest have been destroyed in the worst floods in 80 years.
The United Nations said around 980,000 people had lost their homes or been temporarily displaced, at least a million needed emergency help and tens of thousands were at risk of disease.
The United States has pledged an initial 10 million dollars of aid to flood-hit Pakistan and is sending helicopters, boats, bridges, water units and other supplies, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.
A US Air Force C-130H delivered international assistance to Pakistan in response to catastrophic monsoon flooding.
The British government pledged eight million dollars in aid Monday, shortly before Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari travelled to London to begin a state visit.
The United Nations said it would disburse up to 10 million dollars from an emergency response fund in addition to aid already on the ground, while Australia pledged 4.4 million US dollars of help.
China, which is Pakistan’s strongest ally, said it would send aid worth 1.5 million dollars including medicines and water purifiers, tents and 50 power generators.
China is itself battling the worst floods in a decade with about 1,000 people killed since the start of the year.
Canada promised two million dollars, while Indonesia promised aid worth one million dollars — including 20 doctors and about 13 tonnes of supplies —and South Korea said it would provide 500,000 dollars’ worth of help.
Initial aid promises included meals, sanitation equipment, tents, clean water and medical services, much of it to be channelled through UN agencies and other aid organisations.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon affirmed the world body’s full commitment to “meeting the humanitarian needs of the population affected”.
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