International donors have pledged more than $800 million to help Pakistan deal with severe flooding after the U.N. appealed for $460 million in aid, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s foreign minister, said on Sunday, the Associated Press reports. “The total commitments and pledges that Pakistan has got so far are $815.58 million,” Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad. “In these circumstances, when the West and Europe and America are going through a recession … this kind of solidarity for Pakistan, I think, is very encouraging,” he said (Khan, 8/22).
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The U.S. and other donor nations “significantly upped their pledges” of aid for the flooding in Pakistan during a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Thursday, in which the U.N. “appeared to [meet] its target of $460 million in immediate aid for flood-stricken Pakistan,” the Associated Press reports.
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Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) visited Pakistan on Thursday “to assess the damage and relief efforts” as flooding continues and millions remain in need of humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. According to the newspaper Kerry “said the United States would increase its flood aid to $150 million” (Masood/Gall, 8/19).
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Reuters reports on how some health experts worry that growing complacency about the threat of measles in Africa is contributing to “some of [the continent's] largest and most deadly outbreaks in years.” Worldwide, “[a]bout 164,000 people died from measles in 2008, down 78 percent from 733,000 in 2000, according to the Measles Initiative,” Reuters reports, adding that “UNICEF fears the combined effect of decreased political and financial commitment to measles could reverse the gains, resulting in an estimated 1.7 million measles-related deaths globally between 2010 and 2013.”
On Tuesday at the 12th International Congress of Parasitology, a group of scientists, led by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, launched an online series of maps showing the distribution and prevalence of worm infections across Africa, Tropika.net reports (Chinnock, 8/17).
U.N. officials and aid groups “expressed alarm on Tuesday that the plight of millions of Pakistanis flooded from their land has yet to strike a sufficiently sympathetic nerve among donors â€“ neither governments nor the general public â€“ with aid trickling in far more slowly than needed,” the New York Times reports.
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