Saudi Arabia raises $20.5 million in flood aid

Pakistani flood survivors move towards for safe area Monday, Aug. 16, 2010 in Muzaffargarh, near Multan, Pakistan. – AP

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has raised 20.5 million dollars in aid on the first day of a national campaign for flood-striken Pakistan, state news agency SPA said Tuesday.

King Abdullah kicked off the campaign by donating 20 million riyals (5.33 million dollars), and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz offered 10 million riyals, press reports said.

The third in line to the throne, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, gave five million riyals to the cause, according to the reports.

The oil-rich kingdom has already sent 16 planeloads of relief supply to Pakistan, Arab News daily said, adding that it had pledged to provide 100 million dollars in aid.

The United Nations warned Tuesday of a “second wave of death” in Pakistan while aid agencies struggled to raise money to help the 20 million people hit by the nation’s worst-ever natural disaster.

Fresh rains have threatened further anguish for the millions affected by three weeks of flooding that has engulfed about one quarter of the country, including its rich agricultural heartland. – AFP

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