U.N. Meets Aid Goal for Flood-Hit Pakistan

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The United Nations appears to have met its goal of raising $460 million for flood victims in Pakistan.
The news comes after the United States and other nations significantly increased their contributions to the flood-stricken nation.

The U.S. has upped its contribution from $92 million to more than $150 million.  Britain said it plans to double its contribution to nearly $100 million.

"I want the people of Pakistan to know the United States will be with you through this crisis," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We will be with you as you replant your fields and repair your roads.  And we will be with you as you meet the long-term challenge to build a stronger nation and a better future for your families."

The increase in global aid comes in response to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's plea for countries to be even more liberal in their giving than they were for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

"Make no mistake, this is a global disaster," Ban said. "Pakistan is facing a slow-motion tsunami. Its destructive powers will accumulate and grow with time."

"This disaster is like few the world has ever seen," he added. "It requires a response to match. Pakistan needs a flood of support."

Since the flooding began nearly three weeks ago, an estimated 1,500 people have lost their lives. The deluge has affected about one-fifth of Pakistan's territory, leaving more than 20 million people in need of shelter, food and clean water.

Weather forecasters predict the flood waters won't completely recede until the end of August.
Operation Blessing International and the German humanitarian aid group Humedica are in the region providing aid to flood victims.
With a mobile hospital, the groups are able to provide medical care to those who urgently need it.  Doctors have been treating about 100 patients daily.

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