Pak floods: Oz minister concerned over outbreak of disease

Kevin Rudd had visited flood-affected areas of Pakistan last week.

Melbourne: Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has told the UN about his country`s growing concern over the possibility of outbreak of disease in flood-hit Pakistan.

Rudd, who visited flood-affected areas of Pakistan last week, was in the US for his diplomatic meetings, according to media reports here.

Rudd said he was concerned that a humanitarian disaster could result from the floods if more wasn`t done to help Pakistan.

"We are concerned on the relief effort... but we still see the prospect of a serious epidemic arising from water-borne diseases," he told the UN in New York.

"The early evidences in our field hospitals suggest a rising number of cases of cerebral malaria, other serious diseases, as well as early signs of malnutrition," he said.

He also called for a long-term partnership with Pakistan to help in reconstruction.

He said that Australia had lifted its aid contribution to AUD 75 million, making it the fifth largest donor to the Pakistan flood appeal.

"I believe this is something we need to keep a very close eye on now," he said.


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