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Australia starts sending emergency relief to victims of Pakistan floods

08-12-2010 17:22 BJT

by Vienna Ma

CANBERRA, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Defense Force (ADF) on Thursday began airlifting one million Australian dollars (0.9 million U.S. dollars) worth of AusAID emergency relief equipment to victims of Pakistan floods.

Pakistan authorities said the flooding had affected 14 million people and killed 1,243 people.

The first of two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17 Globemaster aircraft flights to Pakistan departed RAAF's Amberley base west of Brisbane on Thursday afternoon.

Over the next week the ADF will airlift one million dollars worth of emergency relief, including tents, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, and water purification equipment to help more than 10, 000 affected families.

They will also carry generators, birthing kits and water containers.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has welcomed the extra resources but said more is sorely needed.

UNHCR, the key agency providing shelter for the growing number of displaced Pakistanis, have launched a major fund raising appeal in Australia and are aiming to raise 500,000 dollars (449,375 U.S. dollars).

The agency's spokeswoman Ariane Rummery told Australian Associated Press (AAP) from Islamabad of Pakistan that the flood was an evolving emergency.

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