Just £160m of pledged aid has reached the UN

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The Independent Online

The United Nations appealed to rich countries yesterday to deliver quickly on aid pledges to the tsunami victims, and not to repeat the history of previous disasters by providing too little too late.

The United Nations appealed to rich countries yesterday to deliver quickly on aid pledges to the tsunami victims, and not to repeat the history of previous disasters by providing too little too late.

In Geneva yesterday, Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian chief, highlighted pledges of €3bn (£2.1bn) made by more than 60 countries, adding: "We are seeing an extraordinary effort, probably unique in the history of humankind. I hope this is the new standard - how the world responds to people in need. The bad past is behind us. This is the new level of compassion, solidarity, generosity."

About $300m (£160m) has so far reached the UN and Mr Egeland said he wanted more detail on when and how the money would be made available.

At a meeting today the Paris Club group of 19 creditor governments will discuss a suspension of debt payments for affected nations. The Group of Seven leading industrialised nations agreed last week to stop collecting more than €2bn until the costs of reconstruction have been assessed. Some governments want to go further and have the debt written off but Indonesia hinted it would prefer donations to credit.

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