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US Pledges Flood Aid to Pakistan

Pakistani flood survivors cross a hastily-repaired bridge next to a main bridge swept away by flood waters in Swat Valley, 10 Aug 2010

The United States on Thursday announced $190 million in aid for victims of last year's devastating floods in Pakistan.

The pledge was made by the acting U.S. special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Frank Ruggiero, who said it fulfills a promise made by his predecessor Richard Holbrooke, who died suddenly in December.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad alongside Pakistan's Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Ruggiero said the money will be put into a cash compensation fund for the estimated 1.6 million families worst-hit by the floods.

Ruggiero also signed an agreement to provide Pakistan with $66 million to help complete two dam projects.

Last year's floods, which were caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains, affected 21 million people and are considered to be Pakistan's worst natural disaster.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.