Pakistani PM says floods pose huge challenge

21:09, August 11, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that the flood disaster has posed a huge challenge for the country.

"The contribution towards helping the flood affected population has to be beyond any political and social divide," the prime minister said while talking to the country's financial team.

Pakistan's worst floods in 80 years have killed some 1,270 people and displaced nearly 4 million others, according to a latest report released Wednesday by the Federal Flood Commission.

The enormity of the damages, Gilani said, could only be met through a joint strategy of the federal and provincial governments ensuring maximum help to those people affected, the PM office said.

Keeping in view the budgetary limitations, he stressed that fiscal discipline and austerity be strictly followed by the federal and provincial governments in the wake of economic pressure that has arisen because of flood relief works.

The prime minister directed the financial team to prepare an efficient and transparent system for disbursement of funds that are being collected under the Prime Minister's Flood Relief Fund to the concerned organizations and the provincial governments. The system should ensure visible utilization of funds, he added, so that the benefit reaches the affected people.

He also directed that the Economic Affairs Division should coordinate with the foreign donors for the assistance being made both in kind and cash and accordingly, a criteria be worked out for the disbursement and utilization of the assistance.

Source: Xinhua


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