China pledges another $200 mn in Pakistan flood aid

China had previously offered about USD 47 million in aid to Pakistan.

Beijing: China is to give another USD 200 million in emergency flood aid to Pakistan, Premier Wen Jiabao announced during a visit to New York for a UN anti-poverty summit.

The announcement comes a month after Beijing faced sharp criticism of its relief pledges from Washington`s pointman on Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, who called on Islamabad`s close ally to "step up to the plate" and do more to help.

"I wish to take this opportunity to announce that China will, on top of the pledged assistance, provide another USD 200 million of assistance to Pakistan," Wen said.

China had previously offered about USD 47 million in aid to Pakistan following the devastating floods, which UN agencies say affected 21 million people and left 12 million in need of emergency food aid.

Torrential rain began falling in northern Pakistan in July and the floods have since moved slowly south, wiping out villages and farmland, and affecting an area roughly the size of England.

This summer, China itself has been battling its worst floods in more than a decade, which left thousands dead or missing.

PTI