19 Aug 2010

Humanitarian crisis in Pakistan deepens

9:59 pm on 19 August 2010

The humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, caused by the worst floods the country has experienced in modern times, is deepening.

Fresh floodwaters are continuing to surge south along the Indus River with more flood defences collapsing.

In Punjab and Sindh provinces, more villages have been flooded, communities dispersed and people displaced, the BBC reports.

A massive volume of floodwater is moving through the country, breaching some defences and adding to the devastation.

Authorities say as many as 20 million people are affected by the floods.

The United Nations says response to its emergency appeal has improved and is almost halfway towards its target of $US460 million.

But it also warns the number of people desperately needing emergency aid is growing - from an estimated six million to eight million people.

Tens of thousands of villages remain under water. There are growing health concerns for those surviving without proper shelter, food or clean drinking water.

The European Union says it will spend an extra €30 million to fund emergency aid, bringing the total promised by the EU to about €70 million, not including money donated by individual EU member states.

The extra funding comes as the UK criticised the international response to the crisis, describing it as woefully inadequate.