News / Asia

Frustration Grips Parts of Flood-Ravaged Pakistan

More angry flood victims in southern Pakistan have turned against the country's government, looting a convoy loaded with supplies.

Residents brandishing long sticks and chanting "shame on the government" ripped supplies out of a vehicle loaded with food Wednesday in the city of Sukkur in Sindh province. One man said they had no choice because all the supplies have been going directly to government officials or the Pakistani army.

More than 1,700 people died and nearly 20 million were affected by the worst floods in Pakistan's history.  

The frustration and violence come as the United States is bringing in more helicopters to deliver aid to flooded areas.

U.S. Marines in Sindh province say two additional helicopters arrived Wednesday, with more expected in the coming days, to ferry supplies to those in need.

A U.S. Marine colonel said helicopter crews have been delivering food and other necessities to three or four villages a day, and that the arrival of larger helicopters will allow even more aid to reach flood victims.

In Washington Wednesday, U.S. Vice Admiral Michael LeFever said the military already has delivered about 2,000 tons of relief supplies and has rescued nearly 13,000 people. The U.S. says it is contributing almost $260 million to relief efforts in Pakistan, with some of the money being directed through United Nations programs.  It says private citizens have contributed another $8 million.

The United Nations has asked for $460 million to fund its relief efforts, but officials say donors have provided less than two-thirds of what is needed.

American actress Angelina Jolie is visiting Pakistan to highlight the need for more international support.  Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, told journalists in Islamabad Wednesday that many of the children she has met on her trip are asking for basics like food and water.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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