Pakistani PM sets up relief fund for flood-affected people

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday set up a relief fund for flood-affected people, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Sharif passionately appealed to the people, especially philanthropists, to generously help flood-hit people with their donations, the office said in a statement.

He said that unprecedented rainfalls this year triggered a huge catastrophe which badly affected the country’s southwestern Balochistan province, leaving a trail of extraordinary destruction, adding that southern Sindh, northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and eastern Punjab provinces have also suffered immense losses.

Despite economic constraints, the prime minister said the government has immediately released 5 billion Pakistani rupees (about 2.22 million U.S. dollars) for the flood victims.

The government had already declared an emergency situation in the flood-affected areas, the statement said.

The provincial governments were also urged to declare them as calamity-hit areas, so that relief and rehabilitation efforts could be expedited, it added.