EU pledges more aid for Pakistan floods

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EU pledges more aid for Pakistan floods

EU pledges more aid for Pakistan floods
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The EU has promised to increase its aid to Pakistan by 30 million euros, bringing the total to 70 million.

The money, which does not include donations by individual countries, will boost existing humanitarian aid operations.

It comes amid reports that the flood relief effort is having trouble coping – especially given the overwhelming need for shelter and non-food supplies.

“It already exceeds the combined capacity of both the government and all international aid agencies to respond immediately,” said Chris Lom of the International Organisation for Migration. “So we’re going to be continuing to see pictures of people in a desperate situation for some time to come, I’m afraid.”

The EU has hit back at critics such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy who have accused Brussels of not doing enough for Pakistan. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the EU was “first to react” to the crisis.

Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, will visit Pakistan in the next few days.

“With time, it was obvious that 30 million (euros) is not enough,” she said. “We have on 11th August committed another 10 million, and today I can announce that we have discussed with our team the needs in the country, and we are making a commitment of another 30 million.”

The charity Oxfam has welcomed the extra EU money, but says billions will be needed to rebuild Pakistan. It says it hopes the new aid will serve as a rallying call for other EU countries.

An aid campaign has been launched in Turkey for the flood victims. Earlier the UK government criticised the international response generally as ‘woefully inadequate’.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference representing dozens of countries from the Muslim world has called on its members to provide urgent aid to Pakistan.