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Pakistan Envoy Says More Help is Needed for Flood Victims


Pakistan's ambassador to the United States says he is grateful for help from the United States. Ambassador Husain Haqqani says much more is needed and the aid will be required for many months to come.

He added that the means to deliver those supplies is of extreme importance. "What we are concerned about is people who are still stranded in the water, the death of animals that is then going to cause disease as the waters recede and hundreds of thousands displaced," he said.

The United States had diverted six Chinook transport helicopters that had been operating in the Afghanistan war, but Ambassador Haqqani told Bloomberg News that number has now increased. "One of the most important needs was getting helicopters, but last night I was informed that the US government is putting in thirteen more helicopters that are at the disposal of the Central Command," he said.

Even as the supply chain and the delivery methods improve, Haqqani says much remains to be done. "There are four stages of this whole exercise. First is rescue and relief. Two hundred million dollars may be the budget for the rescue and relief effort. But then we have to rehabilitate these people, move them back into their homes. Six hundred fifty thousand houses have been destroyed which is more than those destroyed by the earthquake.

And then, of course, the infrastructure has taken a huge hit. Bridges have been swept aside, railroads have been totally washed away. There are places where there are no roads left, no buildings left. So that reconstruction will be a huge budget, and that we will talk about after we are through with the rescue and relief efforts right now," he said.

Ambassador Haqqani also announced that arrangements are being made to fly essential commodities like medicine and energy food items to Pakistan along with doctors and nurses who would like to aid in the flood relief.

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