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 Flood ravaged Pakistan deserves world assistance: UN

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Registration date : 2010-08-07

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PostSubject: Flood ravaged Pakistan deserves world assistance: UN    Flood ravaged Pakistan deserves world assistance: UN  Icon_minitimeWed Aug 18, 2010 9:34 am

GENEVA: A spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday that the situation in flood-ravaged Pakistan desperately deserves the world's attention and assistance.

"Six (m) million people in need of direct humanitarian assistance, urgent assistance, and we are gearing up our operation to deliver it to those people," said Elizabeth Byrs from the UN building in Geneva.

Last week the UN appealed for 459 (m) million US dollars for immediate relief efforts.

It has received 40 percent - about 184 (m) million US dollars of that so far, said Maurizio Giuliano, a UN spokesman. An additional 43 (m) million US dollars has been pledged.

The floods have killed about 1,500 people and inundated 1.7 (m) million acres (700,000 hectares) of wheat, sugar cane and rice crops, raising the prospect of food shortages in the coming months in the already-poor nation.

The World Bank said on Tuesday it will redirect 900 (m) million US dollars of its existing loans to Pakistan to help in flood recovery, as the UN warned that many of the 20 (m) million people affected by the disaster have yet to receive any emergency aid.

The floods began three weeks ago but the crisis could yet worsen, with authorities warning that the swollen Indus River may burst its banks again in coming days.

Local charities and international agencies have rushed food, water, shelter and medical treatment to the worst-hit areas in the northwest and Punjab and Sindh provinces.

But aid agencies and the British government have complained that the international response to the disaster has not been generous enough.

Pakistan's shaky government has been sorely tested by the disaster, which has affected about a fifth of the area of the vast country of 170 (m) million people.
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