UN General Assembly hears calls for global solidarity to aid flood-hit Pakistan (3)

08:20, August 20, 2010      

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The World Health Organization (WHO) also urged greater donor support for health projects in Pakistan, where more than 200 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed, adding that reports from the field already indicate a significant rise in the number of cases of acute watery diarrhea, skin infections and malaria.

"It is crucial that all humanitarian health providers, local and national, coordinate their relief efforts closely to save lives, reduce suffering and deliver the most effective response," said WHO's Representative in Pakistan, Guido Sabatinelli.

Mogwanja noted that a food crisis is also possible given that thousands of hectares of crops which were due to be harvested in the next four weeks in most parts of the country have now been destroyed. It is therefore vital for food aid to reach those affected as soon as possible.

In the longer-term, he added, it will be necessary to assist in rebuilding livelihoods as well as public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, telecommunications, power lines and irrigation canals.

"The people of Pakistan are depending on the people of the world," he said.

For his part, the Pakistani foreign minister thanked the international community for the generosity it has shown so far and urged greater efforts to assist the Government and people of the South Asian nation.

During a meeting with the secretary-general ahead of the General Assembly session, Qureshi welcomed the leadership and commitment of the UN in the response to the disaster. The minister and Ban also discussed further steps and meetings over the coming months to bolster the relief and recovery efforts.

Source: Xinhua

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