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ICRC appeals for more funds for Pakistan

The Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross is appealing for another SFr77 million ($75 million) to help victims of the Pakistan floods rebuild their lives.

This content was published on September 2, 2010 - 15:32

The head of ICRC operations for Southeast Asia, Jacques de Maio, says there is a huge gap between the scale of the needs and what can be done to meet them.

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for about 80 per cent of those affected, the Geneva-based ICRC said on Thursday. It pointed out that the disaster struck just before the harvesting season for many crops, and before the time for planting winter wheat.

"The second phase of our response will involve a distribution of seed and tools that will benefit over 300,000 people who have lost everything,” de Maio said.

He added that the organisation and its local partner, the Pakistan Red Crescent, would also repair or reconstruct water systems and healthcare facilities in the areas hardest hit.

Another concern for the ICRC is mines and unexploded munitions that have been carried by the floodwaters into areas previously regarded as mine-free. So far there have been four recorded incidents with 11 casualties.

The United Nations says more than 17 million people have been affected by the floods, caused by heavy monsoon rains at the end of July. While the waters are now falling in the north and centre, areas in the south are still threatened.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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