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Weekly News Summary
August 2010 Key Issues
Continued devastation from floods in Pakistan
This week Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell and Minister without PortfolioBaroness Warsi visited Pakistan to see how UK aid is helping those affected by the flooding. The ministerstravelled to the village of Pir Sabak, destroyed by the floods
which at their peak were five metres high -and visited a displaced persons camp where many villagers are now living. A fifth of the country is nowunderwater, with more heavy rains expected.Andrew Mitchell has announced that the UK intends to double its aid contribution for the floods inPakistan, but will only release money to partners
, such as NGO’s and UN agencies,
who are able to showthey can deliver the right results for the people of Pakistan.
Speaking from New York on August 19
, Secretary of State for International Development, AndrewMitchell, 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. This doubling of our aid should now provide water and sanitation to 500,000 people; shelter to 170,000 people; help meet the nutritional needs of 380,000 people and provide enough health services to cover a population of 2.4 million people.This additional support will help millions more secure the aid they need not only to survive, but to begin rebuilding their lives. I am in New York to urge the rest of the world to follow the example of those countries that have increased their support in recent days. The wealthiest nations - especially those in the G8 - have a duty to step up their response dramatically."
These are the most severe monsoon rains Pakistan has ever seen in its history: the area affected isgreater than the size of England.Ten million people critically affected and nearly 900,000 houses destroyed or damaged.The UK was one of first countries to respond; life-saving assistance to at least one and a half millionpeople, providing safe drinking water, toilets, health care, emergency shelter, and other essentialitems.UK aid announced so far has provided help for around one and half million people in Pakistanaffected by the floods, including provide vital shelter for more than 62,000 people.The UN Pakistan appeal launched last week. Immediately the UK government announced fourfurther plane loads of aid and help for half a million malnourished children andpregnant/breastfeeding women.The UK Government has earmarked up to £31million in response to the UN Pakistan appeal, with£16.25million so far allocated.The UK Government has also accelerated a £10million project to provide new bridges to replacesome of those washed away by the floods; our engineers are on the ground already identifyingpriorities sites.As well as the UK Government response, British people have donated about £24million directly outof their pockets.The UK Government is ready to continue helping the people of Pakistan in any way it can.