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Pakistan Aid Over $800 Million; Floods Threaten South

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the international response as "encouraging."

Pakistan's foreign minister has expressed gratitude to the international community for more than $800 million in donations and pledges to help Pakistan's flood victims.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the level of donations as a mark of "solidarity" with Pakistan and also "encouraging," considering that Western nations have been dealing with recession and what he called "donor fatigue."

"In these conditions, when the West, Europe and America, are under recession and talks of donors fatigue are on, such good solidarity is very encouraging," Qureshi said.

The foreign minister said donations and pledges so far were more than $815 million to provide food, shelter, and heath care for the millions of Pakistanis uprooted by one of the worst natural disasters in the country's history.

Tens of thousands of people in Pakistan's southern Sindh Province are meanwhile reported to have fled for higher ground amid a new flood-surge from rising water levels on the Indus River.

The World Health Organization has expressed concern about the threat to thousands of survivors from diarrhea, measles, malaria, respiratory infections, and other diseases spreading in flood-affected areas.

In another development, officials from Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are expected to meet in Washington to discuss Pakistan's budget and what impact rebuilding from the floods will have on the country's long-term financial situation.

compiled from agency reports