Germany increases Pakistan aid again, as premier appeals for help | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 14.08.2010
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Germany increases Pakistan aid again, as premier appeals for help

Germany announced it would give another 5 million euros to flood-stricken Pakistan, where 20 million people are reportedly affected and disease looms. Charities, however, say relief is lagging behind what is needed.

Stranded Pakistani flood victims wade through water

Germany is giving Pakistan 15 million euros

The German government pledged Saturday an additional 5 million euros ($6.4 million) in emergency relief funds to flood-stricken Pakistan.

Germany's foreign office and its development ministry each promised an additional 2.5 million euros in light of the increasingly dire situation in the South Asian country, raising Germany's total pledge to 15 million euros. German had already doubled its pledge Wednesday from an initial 5 million euros.

The money will go to provide food, medicine and access to safe drinking water.

Millions displaced

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, announced Saturday that 20 million had been affected by the flood, up from an earlier United Nations estimate of 14 million

"Torrential rains and devastating floods have made 20 million people homeless, destroyed standing crops and food shops and storages of worth of billions of dollars, washed away bridges, roads, communication and energy networks," Gilani said in his Independence Day televised address.

Women show their ID cards to access relief supplies

Relief supplies are scarce, although 6 million need them to survive

The number of displaced persons in Pakistan now exceeds the combined total of those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Gilani appealed to the international community to "extend a helping hand to fight the effects of this calamity," adding that it was a "reasonable expectation that the world would stand by us in word and deed."

Disease and looting

The United Nations launched an appeal earlier in the week for 460 million dollars to help victims. Funds are becoming more crucial as the UN estimated that around 6 million were dependent on aid for survival.

Meanwhile, supplies are reportedly dwindling, and angry refugees have begun looting relief vehicles in some parts of the country. Charities say relief for those affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan's history was lagging far behind what was needed.

The UN has confirmed one case of cholera in the Swat Valley in Pakistan's northwest and has reported some 36,000 cases of diarrhea in the country.

So far, the official death toll reported by Islamabad is 1,384, although the UN estimates there are more than 1,600 dead.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to visit Pakistan beginning Sunday.

Author: David Levitz (AFP/dpa)

Editor: Kyle James

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