Pakistan to seek international help for flood relief
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Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan government has decided to seek international help to undertake relief and rehabilitation efforts in parts of the country inundated by devastating floods that has claimed over 800 lives and left thousands homeless.

The decision was made on Tuesday during an urgent briefing on the flood emergency by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the top national body having the mandate to deal with calamities.

Unable to cope with the debilitating impact, the government has decided to launch an international appeal seeking funds for relief and rehabilitation for flood-hit people and restoration of damaged infrastructure, according to an official statement.

Planning minister Ahsan Iqbal who chaired the meeting said that 830 were killed and at least 1,348 injured, while thousands are left homeless across the country.

Prime Minister Sheh baz Sharif has announced Rs 25,000 to flood-affected people while appealing to the nation to extend help. He said the government was providing Rs 37.2 billion to the people in aid.

“The current relief operation needs Rs 80 billion and hundreds of billions of rupees also required to overcome the losses as well as for rehabilitation of the victims,” he said in a message.

Earlier on Monday, the government decided to hold a donors’ conference to get money for the flood victims.

Meanwhile, the European Union agreed to provide Rs 76 million for crucial humanitarian assistance which will focus on addressing the urgent needs of those most affected in some of the hardest-hit districts of Jhal Magsi and Lasbela, according to the statement.

The EU funding will help get vital assistance to the most vulnerable people to support them during this hard time, it said.

Floods triggered by the monsoon rains have killed at least 830 people and destroyed properties and crops worth billion of rupees since July.

The seasonal rains continue to wreak havoc, especially in Balochistan and Sindh province, the worst hit areas. The incessant downpour has also impacted Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and at least three regions of Punjab. Gilgit-Baltistan has also reported rains and flood-related losses.

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