800,000 people cut off by unprecedented Pak floods: UN

     Describing the floods in Pakistan as unprecedented, the United Nations (UN) has said that nearly 800,000 people have been cut off and are only reachable by air, adding it needs at least 40 more helicopters to provide lifesaving aid to the victims. UN's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes appealed for "extraordinary" aid to continue the massive relief and rescue work in the flood affected country. "These unprecedented floods pose unprecedented logistical challenges, and this requires an extraordinary effort by the international community," The Daily Times quoted Holmes, as saying. The UN has appealed to the world to donate more, while raising concerns over the shortage of essential commodities and rising prices in areas, which have been completely cut-off by raging flood waters. "In northern areas that are cut off, markets are short of vital supplies, and prices are rising sharply," Marcus Prior, spokesman for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said. "People are in need of food staples to survive, and there is currently no other way to reach these flood victims, other than by helicopter," he added. The WFP said that it has reached nearly 1.75 million people with food aid, but thousands are still in need of food and other important supplies.

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