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Floods prompt EU 'task force' plan

The European Union has said it is considering forming a task force to better coordinate its emergency aid in the future, after the French president criticised the union for its response following Pakistan's devastating flooding.

EU spokesman Ferran Tarandellas Espuny said the bloc is debating how to "reinforce our disaster response capability".

It follows criticism by French President Nicolas Sarkozy over the weekend that the EU's £33 million in humanitarian aid following the flooding in Pakistan was insufficient.

Aid for Pakistan from all donors has fallen far short of an appeal by the United Nations for nearly 460 million dollars in emergency assistance for victims of the country's worst floods in living memory.

Mr Sarkozy said the 27-member union must react better and more quickly to events like Pakistan's flooding, Haiti's earthquake or Russian forest fires.

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