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EU doubles Pakistan flood aid to €150 mn

UN agencies say Pak floods left 12 million in need of emergency food aid.

Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 11:07 AM IST

Brussels: The European Commission has decided to more than double its Pakistan flood aid to EUR 150 million (USD 205 million), the European Union`s humanitarian aid chief said on Friday.

The EU`s executive arm has already provided EUR 70 million in aid and will now distribute another EUR 80 million to its partner organisations, European humanitarian aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told a news conference.

"Our own staff in Pakistan confirms that more financial resources will translate into more lives saved and more people helped," she said.

"For that reason we have decided in the commission to more than double our humanitarian support to Pakistan."

Combined with contributions from national governments, the European Union`s support for Pakistan now totals EUR 400 million, she said.

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.

The United Nations has issued a record USD 2 billion appeal for funds to cope with the disaster, which UN agencies say affected 21 million people and left 12 million in need of emergency food aid.

Welcoming the "weighty injection of cash", Oxfam urged all European states, "especially those that so far have lagged behind such as France and Italy, to "urgently reach deep in their pockets to avoid a spiralling of disease and hunger”.

Georgieva said the new European aid would be directed primarily to the south of the country.

PTI