Switzerland is to increase its aid to Pakistan flood victims by another SFr2.5 million ($2.4 million), the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.This content was published on August 12, 2010 - 18:20
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to receive SFr2 million of this, to add to the SFr1 million it has already received.
The other SFr500,000 will go to the Pakistan emergency fund of the United Nations World Food Programme, doubling the Swiss contribution, ministry spokesman Georg Farago said.
On Wednesday the UN appealed to its member states to provide $459 million for Pakistan in the next three months. The organisation estimates that 14 million Pakistanis have been affected, of whom six million need emergency aid if they are to survive.
Switzerland is also preparing to send more experts to the disaster region to determine the needs of the flood victims.
Material bought locally with Swiss money is already being distributed, Farago said.
This includes "shelter kits" with plastic sheeting, mattresses, blankets and cooking equipment as well as food and hygiene articles.
In a related development, the Swiss public had contributed about SF800,000 for the flood victims by Thursday via the Swiss Solidarity organisation, the charitable arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.
While the sum is small in comparison with that collected for the victims of the tsunami in 2004, for example, the organisation’s spokeswoman told swissinfo that since a fresh appeal had been launched two days ago, contributions had increased.
Swiss Solidarity is to hold a special fundraising day for Pakistan on August 18.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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