Pakistan welcomes additional assistance for flood victims

September 20th, 2010 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 20 (DPA) Pakistan Monday welcomed the additional 185 million dollars of flood aid announced on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton co-chaired the Sunday meeting attended by representatives of 45 countries.

The bulk of additional aid came from Britain, 109 million dollars, followed by 65 million dollars from Norway and 10 million by Germany.

“We welcome the encouraging response from the international community which shows that they are with us to complement Pakistani efforts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said Monday.

“It was not a donor conference. Its purpose was to keep the international community abreast of the latest flood situation,” he said. “But certain countries announced more aid on the occasion which we welcome.”

The UN appealed for another 1.6 billion dollars for Pakistan flood relief on Friday. Earlier, it asked for 460 million dollars for urgent humanitarian needs, of which 80 per cent has been received.

International aid agency Oxfam, however, on Monday criticized the world community for slow response and called for generously contributions to new UN appeal.

“Other countries need to follow the lead of the UK, Australia and Norway. This is the biggest disaster in the world right now, and it is not over yet,” said Nigel Young, deputy head of Oxfam’s emergency response in Pakistan, in a statement.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday described the floods as a “global disaster, a global challenge, and a global test of solidarity.”

Many of more than 20 million of people displaced by the worst floods in the country’s modern history are still living in refugee camps where aid workers are struggling to provide them food, medicine and clean drinking water.

Oxfam said over 8,600 schools were damaged in the disaster, and more than 3,600 schools are being used as shelters for those displaced by the floods.

It asked for more money to establish temporary learning centres and rehabilitate schools for an estimated 1.8 million children currently missing out on education.

Initial estimates show that billions of dollars will be required to rebuild the flooded areas. Pakistan is planning a donor’s conference before the end of the year to seek more funds.

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