The World Bank has announced it intends to lend $900 million to Pakistan to help the country recover from the worst floods in its history.
The Washington-based lender said in a statement that the Pakistani government had requested around $900 million in financial support from the World Bank, and that the bank was committing to providing the amount.
The announcement came as the United Nations says it has so far fallen short of raising some $460 million from international donors for immediate relief for some of the 20 million people estimated to have been affected by the disaster.
The UN has also warned that up to 3.5 million Pakistani children are currently at high risk of contracting deadly water-borne diseases in the wake of the floods.
In another development, a senior Pakistani envoy said the total cost of rebuilding Pakistan could exceed $10 to $15 billion.
High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan, speaking to Reuters, cautioned, however, that this figure is only a rough estimate because a more thorough survey has not yet been carried out.
The Pakistani envoy added that it is likely to take at least five years to carry out the reconstruction of roads, bridges, telecommunications networks, and farmlands that have been swept away by the floods.
compiled from agency reports