ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Denmark and Norway on Friday announced financial assistance for the people affected by floods in Pakistan.

Denmark will provide $2.6 million and Norway announced 20 million krones in aid, which is in addition to 50 million krones it had earlier sanctioned for the humanitarian crisis. The amount will be channelled through Unicef and the Norwegian Church Aid.

The UN has launched an appeal for donations to bolster relief efforts in the flood-affected areas.

Half of the Danish contribution will go to the World Food Programme for food supplies and the rest to Unicef to be used on water supply, healthcare, lavatories and education for children in affected communities, a Danish embassy statement said.

The Danish government had contributed $22 million towards relief during the floods in 2010, followed by another $9 million for rain-hit people in 2011, thus brining the total humanitarian aid to $34 million.

Announcing the assistance, Danish Minister for Development Christian Friis Bach termed the new flood situation an overlooked humanitarian disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people are left without a shelter and food.

The natural catastrophe this time around placed the affected people in a desperate situation, he said, asking the international community to immediately come to their aid.

Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Moesby said: “Although the extent of the floods is collectively less compared to the past two years, the impact is still disastrous. Seven of the most affected districts are worse hit than in the past.”

These districts were battered by floods and rains during the past two years and were far from being repaired when hit by the calamity again this year, leaving the population in a highly vulnerable and alarming situation.

He said the Danish government was deeply concerned about the situation and wanted to extend to the government of Pakistan all possible support.

Norwegian Minister for International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmas said it was important that Norway provided emergency relief in response to floods that had affected some five million people. “The 350,000 hardest hit people have lost their homes and everything they owned,” the minister noted.

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