Pakistan floods appeal raises 227 million dollars: UN

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Funding for the UN aid appeal to help victims of Pakistan's devastating floods has reached 227.8 million dollars or 50 percent of the total target sum, the United Nations said Wednesday.

"We have received 227.8 million dollars (177 million euros), or 50 percent of the appeal," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"It's good news but we need to continue the rhythm of the last few days and not lower our guard because millions of people are desperately expecting help," she said, adding that aid agencies needed to redouble their efforts as the "situation remains dramatic."

On Monday, the world body had collected just 20 percent of the 460 million dollars targeted to help millions of Pakistanis affected by the floods.

But the pace has accelerated during the last two days, after aid agencies warned they were running out of resources to deal with the historic disaster.

Adding direct bilateral aid and funds from humanitarian non-governmental groups to multi-lateral financing, Byrs noted that total international aid has reached 313.8 million dollars on Wednesday.

"The figure is not exhaustive," said the spokeswoman, pointing out that there are countries which have contributed in kind.

According to Pakistani authorities, the flooding has directly affected 14 million people in the south Asian country.

© 2010 AFP

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