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Pakistan re-flooded, still helpless

Pakistan re-flooded, still helpless
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Pakistan’s lower Indus Valley is under fresh floods.
Crops are destroyed or extensively damaged;
water levels are more than two metres above normal in places; as far ahead as people can see it, their future looks caked in mud.

A typical flood survivor said: “Before we were poor. The floods now have left us nothing.” A struggling mother said: “Sometimes a rich person brings us something but we usually go to bed with empty stomachs.”

New inundations have spread devastation from the
mountainous north to the plains of the south. Returning to homes in the north people find what is left in chaos. Money is not kept in banks by many. It is ploughed into building homes. The muddy torrents have destroyed savings.

On the other side of the world, in Washington conference rooms, IMF creditors were evaluating what it means for Pakistan’s economic viability.

An elderly woman said: “We got no help from anyone. Would we be in this mess if we had? We look to God. Only he can help us.”

A first NATO relief plane landed in Islamabad, bringing promised air and sea deliveries, more than three weeks after the disaster began. A German air force officer on arrival said it felt good to be a link in the chain between donors abroad and the Pakistanis in need.