The United Nations is to launch an emergency response plan for Pakistan and an appeal for hundreds of millions of euros.
Catastrophic floods have already claimed more than 1,600 lives in the country. And while some help is getting through, the UN says a further six million people now need immediate humanitarian aid to survive.
Ban Ki-moon is looking further ahead. “We must also give thoughts to medium and longer term assistance,” the UN Secretary-General said in New York. “This will be a major and protracted task. I appeal for donors to generously support Pakistan at this difficult time.”
In India, around 160 people have died in Ladakh. Hundreds more are missing. But Pakistan has borne the brunt of the floods. Just back from official visits to Britain and France, President Zardari has been met by a chorus of criticism.
“All that I can say about Zardari is that our houses are collapsing and his government is not even bothered,” said a salesman in a hardware market in Nowshera in northwest Pakistan. “A government is supposed to be like a parent. If a parent leaves his children in trouble and goes on jaunts abroad, it is scandalous.”
The White House says US helicopters have helped save more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan. Many more lives now depend on intensive international aid.