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India pledges full support to flood-hit Pak

Offering its wholehearted support to flood-stricken Pakistan, India has vowed to do all it can to assist the country in relief efforts, apart from the $five million in aid already extended by it.

world Updated: Aug 21, 2010 12:30 IST

Offering its wholehearted support to flood-stricken Pakistan, India has vowed to do all it can to assist the country in relief efforts, apart from the $five million in aid already extended by it.

"We are willing to do all that is in our power to assist Pakistan in facing the consequences of floods," Hardeep Singh Puri, India's envoy to the UN, told the General Assembly on the second day of a special meeting on the Pakistani floods on Friday.

"We extend our wholehearted support to the government of Pakistan in its effort for relief and rehabilitation of their adversely affected population," he said.

During his visit to the UN on Thursday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had accepted India's offer of aid to the tune of $5 million.

Pakistan has been hit by the worst floods in 80 years, which have soaked one fifth of its land, killed more than 1,500 people and impacted an estimated population of 20 million with around 6 million in need of emergency aid, which included 3.5 million children.

The UN has launched a flash appeal for $460 million out of which $263 million has been received, which is approximately 53 per cent.

Despite a slow start, the contributions picked up speed after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the flooded areas last week and said it was the worst natural disaster he had witnessed, while describing the conditions as "heart wrenching."

The US has contributed the largest amount of aid worth $150 million, out of which USD 92 million goes towards the UN flash appeal.

Pakistan, which has lost a high volume of infrastructure and agriculture, is probably going to need aid worth billions of dollar as it moves into the recovery and rehabilitation phase.