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Swiss should do more for Pakistan

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has called on the Swiss to donate more money to aid the millions of flood victims in Pakistan.

This content was published on August 15, 2010 - 16:52

“We should remain sensitive to the suffering of others,” Calmy-Rey told the newspaper Sonntag.

She said she was concerned about the political instability of the Asian state, which she said could increasingly fall into the hands of extremists. “That’s why it’s important to act quickly and generously to show our solidarity with Pakistanis.”

Also on Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged foreign donors to speed up aid to Pakistan. The government there has warned of new waves of floods that have already disrupted lives of a tenth of its 170 million people.

Swollen by torrential monsoon rains, major rivers have flooded Pakistan's mountain valleys and fertile plains, killing up to 1,600 people and leaving two million homeless.

Six million people still need food, shelter and water and medicine, the UN says. Pakistan's government, already facing a Taliban insurgency, now faces the risk of social upheaval and long-term economic pain.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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