World Bank to Provide $900 Million for Pakistan Flood Relief

The World Bank has said it will provide $900 million to fund relief in flood-ravaged Pakistan.

A World Bank news release said $10 million would be shifted from other projects to provide fuel, steel, cement and other supplies needed in the early stages of recovery.

The World Bank did not specify how the bulk of the money would be spent. It also said it planned future projects to repair critical infrastructure along the Indus River to help with future flood prevention.

The United Nations says as many as 3.5 million children in Pakistan are at risk from water-borne diseases, warning of a "second wave of death" from the floods.

U.N. humanitarian spokesman Maurizio Giuliano said Monday as many as six million people face the risk of contracting diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses if donors do not provide more aid.

Three weeks of monsoon rains have triggered Pakistan's worst flooding, with an estimated 1,600 people killed and 20 million affected in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces.

The World Health Organization's representative in Pakistan, Guido Sabatinelli, said a lack of clean water and unavailability of medication is a "deadly combination" for those already in poor living conditions.

A WHO spokesman (Paul Garwood) in Geneva (Switzerland) told VOA that nearly 100 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed by the floods, hampering the ability to deliver health care to those in need.

On Monday, authorities said a new wave of flooding was likely along the Indus River in Punjab and Sindh.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Monday Islamabad is in talks with NATO officials to set up an "air bridge" to fly relief goods into Pakistan. Qureshi is set to attend Thursday's special session of the U.N. General Assembly on the floods.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP