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Newsletter for June 2010

 

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Muslims donate nearly $1 billion to Pakistan
 Monday, 30 Aug, 2010
 
ISLAMABAD: Muslim countries, organizations and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion in cash and relief supplies to help Pakistan respond to the worst floods in the nation's history, the head of a group of Islamic states said Sunday.
 
The announcement came as floodwaters inundated a large town in Pakistan and authorities struggled to build new levees with clay and stone to prevent one of the area's biggest cities from suffering the same fate.
 
Foreign countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help Pakistan cope with the floods, which first hit the country about a month ago after extremely heavy monsoon rains. But some officials had criticized the Muslim world for not contributing enough.
 
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the 57-member Organization of The Islamic Conference, likely sought to counter that criticism by announcing that Muslims have pledged nearly $1 billion. The pledges came from Muslim states, NGOs, OIC institutions and telethons held in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, he said.
 
''They have shown that they are one of the largest contributors of assistance both in kind and cash,'' said Ihsanoglu of the various donors. He spoke during a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad.
 
Ihsanoglu did not provide a breakdown of the pledges or say how much of the money would flow through the Pakistani government versus independent organizations.
 
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani criticized donations made to foreign NGOs rather than the Pakistani government Sunday, saying much of the money would be wasted ''Eighty per cent of the aid will not come to you directly,'' said Gilani, referring to Pakistani citizens.
 
''It will come through their NGOs, and they will eat half of it,'' he said during a press conference in his hometown of Multan.
 
The United Nations, the Pakistani army and a host of local and international relief groups have rushed aid workers, medicine, food and water to the affected regions, but are unable to reach many of the 8 million people who are in need of emergency assistance.
 
The US said Saturday it would deploy an additional 18 helicopters to help with the relief effort. The US military is already operating 15 helicopters and three C-130 aircraft in the country, the US Embassy said in a statement. -AP

 

 

 

 

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