UK doubles flood aid to Pak

Britain has announced that its aid contribution to the flood relief efforts in Pakistan will be doubled to more than 64 million pounds.

Updated: Aug 20, 2010, 16:43 PM IST

London: Britain has announced that its aid
contribution to the flood relief efforts in Pakistan will be
doubled to more than 64 million pounds, but made it clear it
will only release the funds to partners who are able to show
they can deliver the right results for people in that country.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell flew
to New York straight from a visit to Pakistan, where he saw
how the UK aid was helping those affected by flooding.

Doubling of the aid money is expected to help millions
more affected by the floods.

Mitchell told the UN General Assembly that it was
"unacceptable" that the international community had not done
more and urged other donors to step up their efforts.

He promised an extra 33 million pounds to help the flood
victims in Pakistan. It comes on top of the 31.3 million
pounds already allocated.

Mitchell made it clear that new UK support will only be
released to implementing partners - such as NGOs and UN
agencies - when the British authorities were confident that it
will help the people of Pakistan access desperately needed
medicine, food, clean water and shelter.

New funding will also help people to rebuild their lives
after the flooding, for example providing seeds to farmers so
they can restart crop planting.

Mitchell said: "I`ve come to New York directly from
Pakistan, where I saw the dire need for more help. Yesterday I
saw the sheer and shocking magnitude of this catastrophe. It
is clear that unless more aid is delivered now, many more
people will die from disease and malnutrition.

"It is deeply depressing that the international
community is only now waking up to the true scale of this
disaster. The UK is already helping more than three million
people in flood-affected areas".

The Royal Air Force is helping to transport vital
equipment, including tents and shelter kits, and Britain is
offering bridging expertise to help restore transport
networks.

Britain has brought forward its programme of 15 million
dollars worth of bridge repairs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

PTI