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Support, But No Cash, At Pakistan Province's Donor Conference

Flood victims jostle for position in a line to receive evening food handouts from a charity at a road-side tent camp near Nowshera, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
ISLAMABAD -- Officials from Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province have hailed as a success a donor conference held for the northwest province -- despite receiving no pledges of funds, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

The regional government held today's one-day conference in Islamabad to protest what they call the central government's failure to deliver aid to flood victims.

The province's information minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, told RFE/RL that the meeting was attended by the ambassadors of Italy, China, and Norway, as well as a representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development and envoys from many other countries that have embassies in Islamabad.

He said the representatives promised support, but did not announce any funding pledges.

But Hussain said officials were satisfied with the results of the conference, where the participants listened to their problems and agreed more aid was needed.

"They accepted that this effort will bring change, and they observed that they [the participants] did not know about the destruction on such a large scale," Hussain said.

"They also said the aid given to Pakistan was insufficient and more assistance is needed. The attendance was complete and all of them took an interest. So, on the basis of that, we can say that it was a successful donor conference."

An estimated 1,500 people have died as a result of monsoon-triggered floods in Pakistan, most of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The flooding has affected some 20 million people nationwide.