Actress Jolie says flood-hit Pakistan needs long-term help

Tue Sep 7, 2010 8:43am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

By Morteza Nikoubaz

JALLOZAI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie called on Tuesday for constant and long-term assistance for Pakistan to help it cope with its worst ever floods that have wreaked havoc on the impoverished country.

The disaster has killed more than 1,750 people, affected more than 18 million and inflicted nearly $43 billion worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, since it began more than a month ago.

"It's extraordinarily complex situation," Jolie told reporters after visiting a camp in northwestern Pakistan housing thousands of refugees. "These are very, very long, extended situations that need our constant support for a very, very long time."

Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, said she would encourage governments as well as individuals to help Pakistan ease the suffering.

Clad in a black shawl, the Hollywood star talked to displaced women and children as she walked through tents erected on the ruins of a camp set up about three decades ago for Afghan refugees.

Jolie said she was "very moved" by the devastation.

The United Nations has received about $310 million toward its initial appeal of $460 million, but says it needs hundreds of millions of more dollars in new donations to provide food, medicine and shelter to affected people.

The United Nations is expected to launch a revised appeal on Sept 17 in New York.

Aid agencies have warned that millions of people are at risk if emergency food and shelters are not provided.

(Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Chris Allbritton)