Australia offers extra 37-mln-USD aid to Pakistan

09:04, September 17, 2010      

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Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd on Friday used his visit to Pakistan to announce Australia will contribute an extra 40 million dollars (37.5 million U.S. dollars) to help victims of the country's devastating floods.

Rudd has toured the province of Punjab of Pakistan, meeting with flood victims, local authorities, and Australian teams who are helping those affected by the worst floods in Pakistan's history. He also spoke with Australian doctors and military personnel who are treating victims of the floods at Camp Cockatoo medical centre in Kot Addu, near the city of Multan.

"The international community is concerned about what unfolds frOm here as waterborne diseases take off across the country," Rudd told ABC News on Friday.

"That's why we've got to take a very careful watching brief about what happens from here.

"The crisis is already serious and further aid is necessary right now to avoid a major calamity.

"That is the message that I will be taking to the high-level meeting on Pakistan in New York."

AusAid said the floods have left more than six million people dependent on aid and up to 10 million people without shelter.

Around 11 million dollars (10.3 million U.s. dollars) of the new money will be given to the World Food Program, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation, while nine million dollars (8.4 million U.S. dollars) will go to Australian non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The remaining 20 million dollars (18.7 million U.S. dollars) will go towards helping Pakistan farmers get started again and for rebuilding schools.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has already called on the international community to send more aid to flood-hit Pakistan.

Antonio Guterres said the aid effort will inevitably fall short of what is needed.

After visiting Pakistan Rudd will head to Washington to meet with U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton before addressing the United Nations in New York and attending the panel he was recently appointed to on global sustainability.

Source: Xinhua


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