Scottish government funding for Pakistan aid effort

Local residents scramble to recover water bottles dropped from a Pakistan Air force helicopter Aid efforts are attempting to get clean drinking water, food, shelter and healthcare to those affected

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Scottish-based organisations involved in the rescue effort in flood-hit Pakistan are to be given £900,000 in funding from the Scottish government.

Emergency funding of £500,000 is to support humanitarian aid efforts.

A further £400,000 is to be allocated to projects in Pakistan that aim to tackle extreme poverty.

External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop said it was "our moral duty to do whatever is within our power to ease the suffering" of the people affected.

The worst floods in the region for 80 years have killed at least 1,600 people and affected about 12 million others.

The government said the most pressing needs would be for clean drinking water, food, shelter and healthcare.

The money for longer term work has been allocated from the South Asia strand of the Scottish government's international development programme.

Gerry McLaughlin, Scottish chair of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), said the money would make a real difference and would help save lives.

Islamic Relief's Habib Malik, who has witnessed first-hand the devastation in Pakistan, said: "I am honoured, and yet at the same time feel a great sense of responsibility that this money has been entrusted on behalf of the Scottish people, to Islamic Relief.

"I promise that I will do my utmost to be an effective guardian of this investment in the people of Pakistan, and am confident that this immense display of generosity will be appreciated."

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