US, Britain pledge long-term flood aid for Pakistan

WASHINGTON: Vice President Joe Biden and visiting British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Thursday pledged their countries’ “sustained long-term” support to Pakistani flood victims.

Meeting for the first time here since Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition was formed in May, the two said their governments were “committed to ensuring the most effective possible international response to Pakistan’s ongoing flood disaster.”

In the wake of devastating monsoon rains that have left some 10 million Pakistanis homeless, “the US and the UK affirm their commitment to sustained long-term post-flood reconstruction in Pakistan, beyond the immediate humanitarian needs,” they added.

“Stability in Pakistan… is vital for the stability of the region and for security in the wider world,” they said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called the floods in Pakistan “the worst natural disaster the United Nations has responded to in its 65-year history.” Ban requested a record two billion dollar international aid effort for the Asian country four times his initial request. – AFP