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New Delhi: Responding to Pakistan’s worst floods in decades, the OPEC Fund for International Development has approved a US $1 million emergency grant for immediate aid to victims of the natural disaster.

The funds will help address pressing needs such as shelter, livelihood, health and water & sanitation as well as support the implementation of the overall relief operation.

Calling the incessant monsoon rains a “climate-induced humanitarian crisis of epic proportions", the government of Pakistan declared a “national emergency" in late August.

By early September, more than 33 million people have been affected by the floods. Destruction is particularly severe in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

OPEC Fund Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “This emergency grant addresses an urgency of truly horrific dimensions. We are standing by the people of Pakistan, taking quick, decisive and joint action to ease the consequences of this terrible disaster and help the country get back on its feet."

According to the latest estimates, more than 1,500 people have been killed by the floods to date. Across the country, about 150 bridges and 3,500 kilometres of roads have been destroyed. More than 700,000 livestock and 2 million acres of crops and orchards have also been lost.

The OPEC Fund’s grant will be channelled through the International Federation of Red Cross in support of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the leading humanitarian organisation in Pakistan.

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