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Norway provides 70-mln-US-dollar relief to flood victims in Pakistan

09-21-2011 15:01 BJT

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Norway will provide 40 million NOK (70 million U.S. dollars) to the flood victims in Pakistan, according to a statement issued by the Norwegian embassy to Pakistan on Wednesday.

About six million people are affected in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. More than one million homes have been completely or partially destroyed.

"The situation is critical and the number of victims keeps rising. The country has been hit by extreme rainfall just one year after the worst flood in its history," the statement quoted Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim as saying.

Unusually heavy monsoon rain in Pakistan has again caused floods in many of the same areas as last year. "The situation on the ground is very serious. Several million people are affected in what was already a very poor area. It is always the poorest who are hardest hit," said Solheim.

"It is particularly important to reach the most vulnerable groups. Women, children and the disabled are especially at risk in this chaotic situation. They need help and protection. People have been forced to flee their homes, and there is a great need for tents, food and clean water," he said.

Norway's aid will be channeled through the UN, the Red Cross and other NGOs with experience from Pakistan. Norway has already supported Norwegian Church Aid's efforts to help 2,000 families in Sindh province.

According to the UN, around two billion NOK is needed to help the flood victims. Norway is working with other donor countries and the UN to assist the Pakistani authorities in their emergency relief work.

"The emergency response capacity Pakistan has built up since the terrible flood last year will now come into use. The UN is coordinating efforts and the assistance that is now coming in. This will ensure that emergency relief reaches those who need it most in the shortest possible time," said Solheim.

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Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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