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India ups Pak flood aid to USD 25 million

India Tuesday announced an additional USD 20 million assistance to Pakistan which is grappling with the worst floods in recent history of the region.



New Delhi: India Tuesday announced an
additional USD 20 million assistance to Pakistan which is
grappling with the worst floods in recent history of the
region.

The announcement by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna
in the Lok Sabha comes in the wake of Pakistan`s readiness to
accept India`s initial aid offer of USD 5 million which is to
be routed through the United Nations.

"As a more concrete assessment of the damage inflicted by
this natural disaster and the urgent needs of the people of
Pakistan emerges, (the) Government has decided to increase its
assistance to Pakistan from USD 5 million, announced earlier,
to USD 25 million," he said in a suo motu statement.

Of the total aid, USD 20 million would be contributed to
the `Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan` launched
by the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian efforts,
he said.

The balance USD 5 million would be contributed to the
World Food Programme for its relief efforts in Pakistan,
Krishna said.

He noted that India had offered USD 5 million aid to
Pakistan during his telephonic talks with Pakistan Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on August 13.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a conversation with
Pakistan Premier Yusuf Raza Gilani on August 19, had conveyed
that India was ready to do more to assist the neighbouring
country which is facing the worst floods in the past 80 years.

Pakistan was reluctant to accept the aid and agreed only
after a nudge from the US. However, last week Pakistan
conveyed to India to route the aid through the UN.

"We cannot remain unconcerned with this grave humanitarian
crisis of enormous magnitude in our immediate neighbourhood,"
Krishna said.

He noted that the recent floods have been described as the
worst in that part of the region in the last 80 years.

According to the latest UN figures, 17.2 million people
have been affected by the floods which have left 1,600 people
dead.

More than 1.2 million houses have been damaged or
destroyed besides widespread damage to infrastructure, Krishna
said.

"All the four provinces of Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied
Kashmir have suffered the consequences," he said.

PTI

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