Aid finally flowing to flood-ravaged Pakistan

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Crops destroyed, millions homeless, children hungry. The scenes from flood-hit Pakistan are wrenching - but the global response has been criticized as sluggish.After a slow start, the UN and relief agencies say donations are now rising as the scale of the calamity becomes clear. But the response has been far less spectacular than the global generosity that followed Haiti's earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

According to Oxfam, donors committed $742 million and pledged a further $920 million within the first 10 days after the Haitian quake. For Pakistan, the figures over the same period were $45 million and $91 million.

Earlier this week, the UN said governments had pledged more than $150 million to Pakistan, but $300 million more was still needed. On Wednesday, it said funding had more than doubled in the last two days and the appeal was now 50 per cent covered.

"We're moving in the right direction," said Elisabeth Byrs, a UN humanitarian spokeswoman.

Since late July, floods triggered by monsoon rains have washed through Pakistan from its mountainous northwest, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and an estimated 700,000 hectares of farmland. Some 1,500 people have been killed, and 20 million are affected.

Organizations: UN, Oxfam

Geographic location: Pakistan

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