Australia triples Pak flood aid to 35 million dollars

Sydney, Aug 17(ANI): Australian has decided to raise its aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan by 24 million dollars to bring its total commitment to 35 million dollars.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the money would support emergency humanitarian relief efforts in the country.

It is estimated that the floods have affected up to 20 million people, while over 750,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

"Today, in response to the United Nations and the Pakistan Government's appeal for further assistance, Australia will provide an additional 24 million dollars to support emergency humanitarian relief efforts," The Herald Sun quoted Gillard, as saying in a statement.

"Australians remain deeply concerned as the flood disaster in Pakistan continues to worsen. Despite the ongoing international assistance effort, people affected by the floods are facing new difficulties."

"Without safe drinking water, food and shelter the risk of waterborne disease, dehydration and malnutrition is escalating," she added.

She further said that the funding would be channeled through the Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies and non-government organizations.

The floods, triggered by torrential monsoon downpours just over two weeks ago, have claimed the lives of over 1,600 people.

The "worst national disaster in Pakistan's history" is threatening greater damage as relief and rescue work have been hit badly by continuous rains, particularly in the north western region.

The Pakistan Army is leading the relief effort by evacuating people, distributing drinking water, food, medical aid and repairing bridges and roads.

The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh. (ANI)

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