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Pakistan flood survivors face risk of epidemics - 30/08/2010

Kristalina Georgieva meets Pakistan flood victims © EU

Water-borne disease is spreading quickly among Pakistan flood survivors, posing a threat of epidemics, the EU aid commissioner warns on her return from the country.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva met with Pakistani officials, aid workers and flood victims during her two-day trip. She described the devastation as “terrible” and said it involves an area about five times the size of Belgium.

“I’m very worried about epidemics,” Ms Georgieva told a news conference, referring to the alarming rise in cases of water-borne disease in recent days. EU foreign ministers are set to discuss a response strategy when they meet next week.

Record monsoon floods have killed between 1500 and 2000 people, washed away more than a million homes and wiped out about 3.4m hectares of crops. In all, about 17 million people have been affected.

EU countries have pledged €230 million in emergency relief - including €70m in EU funding - accounting for more than half the UN’s initial aid target.

Pakistan will also need help with reconstruction – but just how much is not yet clear. Islamabad will host a donor conference later this year.

 

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