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Extra £70m for Pakistan floods aid

Britain is to commit a further £70 million in aid to Pakistan as the country struggles to recover from the havoc wrought by the floods, the Government has announced.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, attending an international donors conference at the United Nations in New York, said the money was needed to help the country to start rebuilding in the wake of the disaster.

"Aid so far has focused on keeping people alive. We need to continue to focus hard on the public health dangers, which remain extremely serious. But we also now need to start helping people to get back on their feet," he said.

"With four out of five people affected by the floods dependent on farming, it is vital that we replace lost seeds, grains, and tools before the critical planting season next month and in November."

Mr Mitchell said that British aid, which now totals £134 million, would also be used to help get children back into education following the loss of 8,000 schools in the floods.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - who visited Pakistan earlier this month - told the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool that the situation was continuing to deteriorate.

"I think we can be proud in the face of that catastrophe of what we in Britain have done and I'm very proud that Liberal Democrats have played a big role now, and in the coming days at the United Nations at the Millennium Development Goals summit, in really pushing the rest of the world to take this as seriously as we do," he said.

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