India has increased its aid for Pakistan flood victims to $25
million from the $5 million announced earlier, but the assistance
will be routed through the United Nations, External Affairs Minister
S.M. Krishna said here Tuesday.
“(The) government has decided to increase its assistance to Pakistan
from $5 million, announced earlier, to $25 million,” Krishna said in
the Lok Sabha. He added that this was being done “as a more concrete
assessment of the damage inflicted by this natural disaster and the
urgent needs of the people of Pakistan emerges”.
Of this amount, he disclosed, $20 million would be contributed to
the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Plan launched by the UN
coordinator of humanitarian affairs.
The external affairs minister, who was making a statement on India’s
offer of assistance to Pakistan for flood relief, said the balance
$5 million would be contributed to the World Food Programme for its
relief efforts in Pakistan.
India, Krishna said, “cannot remain unconcerned with this grave
humanitarian crisis of enormous magnitude in our immediate
He added that Pakistan had conveyed its “deep appreciation of
India’s offer of assistance”.
“While mentioning that the United Nations has launched a flash
appeal soliciting contributions from the international community to
assist the people affected by the floods, Pakistan requested Aug 27
that India may channel its contribution to the flood victims through
Quoting Manmohan Singh, he said: “In such times of natural
disasters, all of South Asia should rise to the occasion and extend
every possible help to the affected people. We remain committed to
assisting the people of Pakistan in all possible ways in this
India had initially offered aid of $5 million towards flood relief
in Pakistan. The offer was made by Krishna to his Pakistani
counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi Aug 13.
It took Pakistan a few days to accept the aid; Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh also offered the aid to his Pakistani counterpart
Yousuf Raza Gilani in a telephone call Aug 19.
Last week, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that India should route
its aid through UN. It cited no reason for this stand.
Floods in Pakistan that began July 28 have claimed at least 1,600
lives and affected over 20 million people.
More than 1.2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed besides
widespread damage to infrastructure, crops and livestock.