As heavy flooding continues to forces millions of Pakistanis from their homes, a 100-ton shipment of German aid has arrived in the country. A second shipment is to be sent over the weekend.
The UN is appealing for more aid to be sent to Pakistan
Around 100 tons of German aid has arrived in Pakistan, nearly a month after severe flooding began affecting the country. A second shipment is expected to be dispatched over the weekend.
A German embassy spokesman confirmed that the military plane, carrying supplies such as power generators and water pumps, had arrived at Chaklala airbase, near the capital Islamabad.
The aid is part of a NATO assistance package for the flood-ravaged country, where more than 17 million people have been forced to flee their homes as high waters continue to inundate an estimated one-fifth of the country.
Germany is expected to dispatch a second cargo plane over the weekend carrying more power generators, boats, food and clothing donated by a non-governmental organization.
Appeal to Germans
The shipments come as Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Germans to dig deeper into their pocketbooks for the millions of displaced Pakistanis.
Merkel used her entire weekly address to the nation to appeal to donors, adding that it was also in Germany's own interest to help the flood victims.
Millions have been forced from their homes by the floodwaters
"In parts of the region that that is still especially hard hit by flooding, al-Qaeda and Taliban forces are in operation.
"For that reason, it is so important to show that the international community stands by the people of Pakistan, to show that we want to help, to do whatever we can to prevent political forces that do not support our objectives from being strengthened by such disasters," she said.
The United Nations says fresh flooding in southern Pakistan has displaced almost a million people, with whole towns needing to be evacuated.
Southern Sindh is the worst-affected province. Out of its 23 districts, 19 have so far been ravaged by floods, a statement by the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday.
"More than seven million people have been displaced in Sindh since August 3, one million alone in the past two days," provincial relief commissioner Ghulam Ali Pasha told news agency Agence France-Presse.
"The magnitude of this disaster is so huge that the government cannot cope with it alone," he said. "We are trying to grapple it, but we need international support."
Author: Darren Mara (dpa/AFP)
Editor: Sean Sinico