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Pakistan's Floodwaters Begin to Recede

Floodwaters in Pakistan are beginning to recede in parts of the south, as the country struggles to provide desperately needed aid to millions across the country.

On Monday, thousands of people began returning to their homes in the historic city of Thatta in Sindh province. Many had been staying at a vast Muslim graveyard on a hill just outside the city.

Most of Thatta's 300,000 residents fled after floodwaters inundated the nearby town of Sujawal and began pushing toward the city. During the weekend, emergency teams worked quickly to rebuild levees which had been breached several times as water levels rose.

Now that the water is receding, disaster management officials in Sindh say the threat of further flooding should continue to diminish in coming days.

However, officials are still struggling with the huge job of delivering desperately needed food, clean water and other aid to millions of Pakistanis.

They are fighting the threat of dehydration, malnutrition and widespread disease, especially waterborne diseases that mostly affect children and those who are already weak.

In an editorial in Sunday's Boston Globe newspaper, U.S. Senator John Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the world is not keeping up with the challenges that flood-ravaged Pakistan is facing.

Pakistani leaders have appealed for more international assistance to help the country provide humanitarian aid and rebuild its devastated infrastructure.

The director of the U.N. World Food Program will travel to Pakistan on Tuesday to evaluate the needs of those affected by the floods. In a statement Monday, WFP said more helicopters are needed to airlift aid to an estimated 800,000 people who have been cut off by the floodwaters and are accessible only by air.

The United Nations says the month-long disaster has left about eight million people dependent on aid for their survival. The flooding killed at least 1,600 people and has affected up to 20 million.

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