Pakistan asks for more aid to combat flooding

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GENEVA - Pakistan asked the world Tuesday for more donations to help it overcome massive flooding that has affected more than 15 million people.

“We will need a huge amount of money,” the country’s UN ambassador told journalists in Geneva.

The envoy, Zamir Akram, sought to reassure potential donors that their money would be put to good use and not fall into the wrong hands, such as the Taliban.

“This is a very transparent exercise. The UN is deeply involved in this joint effort,” he said.

The diplomat said funds are urgently needed for rescue operations and assistance for survivors, but the bulk would to go towards rebuilding damaged infrastructure.

So far only 35 percent of the money pledged had actually been received, he said.

Akram said the area affected by the floods was about the size of England. The vast majority of the people who lived there depend on agriculture for a living, and this had been ruined by the floods, he said.

A major goal of the reconstruction effort would be to ensure these people had the chance to regain their livelihood, he added.

The diplomat said he was hopeful the UN General Assembly would stress the urgency of the situation when it meets Thursday.

On Monday, the UN said 3.5 million children were at risk from water-borne diseases and urged the world community to urgently provide $460 million for emergency assistance.

“So far we have seen no outbreaks of any serious epidemics,” Akram said.

Relief organizations say 15.4 million people have been affected by the floods - the worst the country has experienced.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed