Charities increase help for Pakistan

Swiss non-governmental organisations Caritas and Swiss Interchurch Aid have announced SFr500,000 (SFr552,000) in emergency aid for the Swat area of Pakistan.

This content was published on May 21, 2009 - 16:30

The news comes as Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani asked aid groups and other countries for help to rebuild this conflict-affected region and to stabilize the country.

The Pakistan military launched an offensive earlier this month in the Swat Valley and neighbouring districts to stop the spread of a Taliban insurgency.

Caritas and Swiss Interchurch Aid said in a joint statement on Thursday that hundreds of thousands of people had fled the region in recent days.

Under their project, around 28,000 people will receive food packages as well as hygiene articles and cooking equipment.

The target group will be those outside the official camps, who are staying with relatives, in parks or who have put up temporary tents along the roadside, the charities said.

Gilani, speaking at a donors' conference Thursday in Islamabad, said that the mass exodus from the region had "grave repercussions".

Donors at this meeting have so far responded with pledges of $224 million, officials have said. with agencies

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