Britons donate £4 million to Pakistan flood victims

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The Independent Online

The British public has donated £4 million towards the flood relief effort in Pakistan in less than two days.

Response to a TV appeal aired on Thursday had been "fantastic", the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said today.

The money raised will go towards helping the more than 12 million people affected by the worst floods to hit Pakistan in 80 years.

It is estimated that around 1,500 people have so far died as a result of the heavy monsoon rains which arrived in the region last Saturday.

News of the British aid contribution came as Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari revealed he was donating five million rupees (£36,500) to the victims.

Mr Zardari made the announcement during a rally in Birmingham at the end of his controversial week-long European tour, which has come under sustained criticism for its timing back in Pakistan.

Millions in the country more have been left homeless or are living in cramped and squalid conditions while awaiting assistance.

The DEC said some 300,000 people have already been provided with emergency care, clean water, food or shelter as a result of British aid.

But it urged anyone who has not yet donated to do so by calling 0370 60 60 900 or visiting dec.org.uk.

Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the DEC said: "As always the British public have shown themselves to be extremely generous.

"Despite the tough economic times, the public response has been fantastic and the donations we have received are now having a real and immediate impact on people who have been affected by the flooding."

He added: "Although the situation in Pakistan is difficult with waters having washed away or severely damaged bridges, roads and railway tracks, the aid is getting through and reaching those who need it most.

"Aid agencies are already distributing life saving medical supplies, clean water and food parcels."

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