It could take Pakistan three or more years to recover from the major floods that have affected the country over the past few weeks, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said, Reuters/MSNBC.com reports (8/24).
Water and Sanitation
International donors have pledged more than $800 million to help Pakistan deal with severe flooding after the U.N. appealed for $460 million in aid, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s foreign minister, said on Sunday, the Associated Press reports. “The total commitments and pledges that Pakistan has got so far are $815.58 million,” Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad. “In these circumstances, when the West and Europe and America are going through a recession … this kind of solidarity for Pakistan, I think, is very encouraging,” he said (Khan, 8/22).
A recent increase in the number of cholera outbreaks is threatening populations in pockets of the world, WHO’s cholera group coordinator Claire-Lise Chaignat, said on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports.
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) visited Pakistan on Thursday “to assess the damage and relief efforts” as flooding continues and millions remain in need of humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. According to the newspaper Kerry “said the United States would increase its flood aid to $150 million” (Masood/Gall, 8/19).
State Department Report Documents U.S. Efforts To Expand Developing Countries’ Access To Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation
The State Department on Monday released its 5th annual Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act report (.pdf) to Congress detailing “U.S. efforts to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improve water resources management and increase water productivity in developing countries,” NAN/234NEXT.com reports (8/17).
U.N. officials and aid groups “expressed alarm on Tuesday that the plight of millions of Pakistanis flooded from their land has yet to strike a sufficiently sympathetic nerve among donors â€“ neither governments nor the general public â€“ with aid trickling in far more slowly than needed,” the New York Times reports.
World Bank To Provide $900M In Emergency Funding For Pakistan Floods, Country’s High Commissioner Provides Rough Damage Estimate
The World Bank on Monday “pledged to reroute money from other projects to provide $900 million in emergency funding to help Pakistan” with its flood recovery efforts, the New York Times reports (Ellick, 8/17).
‘Heart-Wrenching’ Pakistan Floods Need More Aid From International Community, U.N. Secretary-General Says
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that the flooding in Pakistan is the worst natural disaster he has seen and called on the international community to expedite the aid effort, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ban traveled to flooded areas of the country and surveyed damage on Sunday (Rodriguez, 8/16).
“The State Department said Thursday that the U.S. financial commitment to Pakistan flood relief has reached $76 million,” VOA News reports (Gollust, 8/12).
The Australian reports on how four large businesses in India are looking to expand their ability to offer low-cost water purifiers to some of the country’s “poorest of the poor.”