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UN demands 180 mln dollars to feed Pakistan flood victims

by Staff Writers
Islamabad (AFP) Sept 24, 2010
The United Nations on Friday called for 180 million dollars to feed six million flood victims in Pakistan till the end of this year.

The UN is facing a shortage of money to meet the food requirements of victims of the disaster over the next two months, senior World Food Program official David Kaatrud said.

"We have a very large distribution program for six million people on the monthly basis, with a food basket of eight (essential) items," he told a news briefing.

Kaatrud said the WFP would face a shortage of cooking oil and pulses in October and November.

"It is over 100 million US dollars for October and an additional 80 million dollars for November, let's say till the end of the year," he said in response to a question about details of the shortages.

The United Nations has issued a record two-billion-dollar 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.

Kaatrud said the coming winter could be challenging for those affected by the flood because of the difficulties aid workers were having with communications and transport and the knock-on effect on the food supply.

Several roads have been cut off in the north and the quality of tents needs to be improved if they are to cope with the harsher weather, he said.

"There has to be an upgrading of the shelter that they are receiving right now," he added.

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.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called the floods in Pakistan "the worst natural disaster the United Nations has responded to in its 65-year history."

earlier related report
Typhoon Fanapi death toll hits 70 in China: state media
Beijing (AFP) Sept 25, 2010 - The death toll from Typhoon Fanapi, one of the strongest storms to hit China in years, has reached 70, state media reported Saturday, after rescuers uncovered more than a dozen bodies.

Workers searching through the debris left by mudslides discovered the bodies in southern Guangdong province, local disaster relief authorities said, adding that 65 people are still missing, Xinhua reported.

Authorities said helicopters were being used to ferry water, food and tents to people in isolated areas, many of which had been cut off by flooding.

Around 100,000 people had been evacuated, with nearly 4,000 homes having collapsed, Xinhua said, adding that 42,000 hectares (104,000 acres) of farmland had been badly affected.

Around 2.4 billion yuan (360 million dollars) of damage had been wreaked by the storm, which also lashed Taiwan, killing two people and injuring 100 on the island.

Fanapi made landfall on the mainland in Fujian province in the southeast but no casualties have been reported there.

At its strongest point, when it hit Taiwan on Sunday, Fanapi was packing winds of up to 220 kilometres (135 miles) an hour and dumped up to 100 centimetres (40 inches) of rain in the south of the island.

This summer, floods and related disasters triggered by torrential rains ravaged wide areas of China, killing more than 3,100 people and causing the evacuation of more than 15 million, according to government figures.

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Pakistan floods hit more than 10,000 schools: UN
Islamabad (AFP) Sept 22, 2010
Pakistan's flood crisis has damaged more than 10,000 schools, affecting several million pupils and requiring massive investment in a nation struggling with literacy, the UN warned Wednesday. 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. "Five to ... read more

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