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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


US Envoy: Flood-Ravaged Pakistan Must Raise Billions

VOA News
16 September 2010

The U.S. special envoy to Pakistan says the flood-ravaged country can not rely solely on international aid and must raise billions in order to rebuild.

Richard Holbrooke told business leaders in the southern port city of Karachi that the international community will not be able to provide tens of billions of dollars needed for Pakistan's reconstruction. Instead, he said the government must find a way of coming up with the funding.

Pakistan's tax collection rate is among the lowest in the world.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund approved $451 million in emergency funding to help Pakistan rebuild following the recent devastating floods.

And on Thursday, diplomats say European Union countries agreed to reduce tariffs on Pakistani export products in a deal that will be finalized next month.

Extremely heavy monsoon rains in July caused the worst flooding in decades, killing more than 1,700 people and affected 20 million others throughout Pakistan.

More than 8 million people have been driven from their homes and are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

The United States has provided more than $260 million in aid for flood relief. US officials have expressed concerns about militants trying to exploit the disaster by stepping in with supplies for those in need and staging attacks while the government is distracted by the crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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