News / Asia

Pakistan Flooding Breaks All Records

According to the United Nations, the number of people affected by the Pakistani floods has now exceeded the combined total of those affected by the tsunami in 2004, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and this year's earthquake in Haiti.

The numbers cited by the UN say nearly 14 million people have dealt with the effects of the flood.

"I am extremely concerned about the humanitarian impact of the floods. The scale of this disaster rivals that of the earthquake in October of 2005, but this time the geographic range is much greater," said UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Hardest hit by the floodwaters is the northwestern province of Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa where more than 600,000 people have been stranded in the Swat Valley, where most of the bridges and roads have been washed away. Hundreds of thousands of others are in the path of the flood in Punjab and southern Singh provinces, where much of Pakistan's food is grown.

The World Health Organization says without clean, safe water, those in the flood areas are at high risk of water borne diseases like diarrhea and cholera.

Secretary General Ban says the UN will soon issue a call for hundreds of millions of dollars to respond to the immediate needs of the Pakistani people, but warned that relief will be needed for some time to come. "But let me stress now that we must also give thought to medium and longer term assistance. This will be a major and protracted task. I appeal for donors to generously support Pakistan at this difficult time," he said.

The international community, including the United States, has pledged millions of dollars in aid. Included in the aid sent by the U.S. are six water filtration units each capable of providing clean water to 10,000 people a day.

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