UN sends SOS for more helicopters to save millions of flood victims in Pak

     The United Nations (UN) has said that it needs more helicopters to continue the relief and rescue work in flood-hit Pakistan, as it remains the only means to reach out to millions of affected people. UN's World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman, Emilia Casella, said the agency only has 10 helicopters at its disposal and expected to get another five in the next few days, but added that it was not enough to rescue and provide relief to over six million people affected by the worst floods in the last 80 years being witnessed by Pakistan . "If you do the math, we are trying to reach six million people and today we've reached 1.2 million. You need to have helicopters in rotation numerous times a day to communities to get the capacity up. We need the helicopters now... but the helicopters have to be funded," BBC quoted Casella, as saying. Pakistan Army spokesperson General Athar Abbas said that the military has pressed into service 45 helicopters and nearly 60,000 troops for flood relief, while the US has also sent 15 choppers. The floods, which have inundated nearly one-fifth part of country, have affected about 20 million people and killed 1600. Addressing a special general assembly, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon called Pakistan floods a "slow tsunami" and a global disaster which would grow in time. "Make no mistake, this is a global disaster. Pakistan is facing a slow-motion tsunami. Its destructive powers will accumulate and grow with time," Ki-moon said while appealing the international community to donate more funds. The UN has appealed for 460 million dollars in aid, but donor countries have so far pledged only half of the target, and the secretary-general said immediate funds were needed to help victims over the next three months.

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