Australia doubles Pak flood aid to 75 million dollars
Sydney, Sep 17(ANI): The Australian government has decided to raise its aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan by 40 million dollars to bring its total commitment to 75 million dollars.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd made the announcement while making a flying visit to Pakistan's Punjab province.
The latest package includes 11 million dollars in aid to help address urgent humanitarian needs for food, health, water and sanitation through the World Food Program, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
A further nine million dollars will be funneled to Australian non-government organizations for emergency relief and recovery efforts, The Age reports.
The bulk of extra funding, 20 million dollars, would assist farmers to replant their crops, get children back to school and rebuild damaged health facilities.
Australia's initial aid was of nine million dollars, which was raised to 35 million dollars last month.
Rudd was in Punjab on his way to Washington where he will hold talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the situation in Pakistan.
He will attend a United Nations conference for global donors to discuss more assistance for those affected by the worst floods in Pakistan's history.
It is estimated that the floods, triggered by torrential monsoon downpours, have affected up to 20 million people, while over 750,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.
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)