Canada pledges another $31M in aid for Pakistan

Canada has pledged another $31 million in aid for flood-ravaged Pakistan, the federal government announced Saturday.

Canada has pledged $31 million in additional aid for flood-ravaged Pakistan, the federal government announced Saturday.

The government had already announced $2 million in aid last month.

Most of the $33 million from Canada — $25 million — will be used to provide food, clean drinking water and to deal with the burgeoning health crisis there.
People driven out of their homes by flooding in Pakistan wade through water to reach safer areas in Multan. ((K.M.Chaudary/Associated Press))

The other $8 million will go to improving Pakistan's ruined transportation network and restoring communication links.

"The trail of devastation and the desperate humanitarian situation caused by the floods have worsened with the continuing rains," said government House leader John Baird.

"This contribution will help meet priority needs, which include food, water and sanitation, emergency medical care and shelter, essential household goods, logistics and co-ordination efforts, and the deployment of Canadian relief supplies."

About 1,500 people have been killed in floods that have torn through many northern communities of Pakistan and are spreading in the south.

As many as 20 million people are homeless, Pakistan's prime minister said Saturday.

Nearly 700,000 hectares of crops in Pakistan are under water, according to the United Nations.

The UN has appealed for $460 million in initial aid. The United States has donated the most, at least $70 million, and has sent military helicopters to rescue stranded people and drop food and water. Britain has pledged more than $32 million US.

Other major donations, also in U.S. funds, include $10 million from Australia, $5 million from Kuwait, $3.5 million from Japan and $3.3 million from Norway.