India yesterday announced an additional USD 20 million aid for flood-ravaged Pakistan.
The announcement by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in the Lok Sabha, lower house of the Parliament, comes in the wake of Pakistan's readiness to accept India's initial aid offer of USD 5 million which is to be routed through the United Nations.
"As a more concrete assessment of the damage inflicted by this natural disaster and the urgent needs of the people of Pakistan emerge, government has decided to increase its assistance to Pakistan from USD 5 million, announced earlier, to USD 25 million," he said in a suo motu statement.
Of the total aid, USD 20 million would be contributed to the 'Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan' launched by the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian efforts.
Pakistan has been severely affected by the worst floods in the last 80 years. According to the latest figures given by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 17.2 million people have been adversely affected by these floods and the death toll has reached over 1600.
Krishna said "we cannot remain unconcerned with this grave humanitarian
crisis of enormous magnitude in our immediate neighbourhood".
"The Prime Minister has rightly said that in such times of natural
disasters, all of South Asian countries 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 difficult hour", the Indian
foreign minister said.
Indian prime minister called his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani on August 19 to express his sorrow and to condole the deaths resulting from the huge floods and conveyed that India had already made an offer of assistance and ready to do more in the relief effort.