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$410m assistance for flood victims;China announced

China announces $410m assistance for flood victimsISLAMABAD: China on Saturday announced a $10 million grant for the citizens compensation programme for flood victims and a $400 million concession loan to help meet their needs.

Speaking at the National Disastrous Management Authority (NDMA), Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said China would continue to help Pakistan in the post-disaster phase of the floods. China would also provide resources and technical support to Pakistan for disaster prevention and forecasting technology.

He said China had the expertise in dealing with situations like the Attabad lake and would send its experts to address the perils arising from the lake along the Karakoram Highway.

Jiabao said provision of disaster control and forecasting technology would help in better handling such situations in the future.

He said the major areas to be covered in his visit included the repairing of damaged infrastructure, roads and the rehabilitation of the flood victims.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani thanked the Chinese government and people in helping Pakistan in the critical hour.

Gilani said 20 million people were homeless due to the floods and the government was giving $1,250 to each affected family whose house had been damaged in the floods.

The Prime Minister appealed to the world to contribute to the government’s national programme for cash compensation. He said that support in agriculture projects would be a source of relief for the flood victims.

Chairman NDMA Nadeem Ahmed briefed the Chinese premier on the loss of lives and infrastructure in the floods.

He said the floods affected over 20 million people and that 1,985 people were killed and over 3,000 injured. The total damages from the floods were worth $10 billion, including $5 billion losses in the agriculture and live stocks sectors, $1.5 billion in the housing sector and $1.3 billion in the communication sector, he added.

He said the rehabilitation phase had been started and it would take around five years to complete it.

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