, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – Kenya on Friday donated 100 tonnes of food to Pakistan\’s flood victims.
Speaking when flagging off the foodstuffs at Harambee House in Nairobi, President Mwai Kibaki said the donations came from the private and public companies.
"I wish on behalf of the Government and people of Kenya to convey to the government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, our deepest condolences and sympathies following deaths, human suffering and extensive damage caused by the unprecedented rains," he said.
The President promised that Kenya would continue to support Pakistan even during the reconstruction process following the damage.
He said the donations included rice, canned beef, powder milk and tea.
Pakistan\’s High Commissioner Masroor Junejo while thanking Kenya said the damage caused by the floods was a burden for the country to handle alone. He appreciated Kenya\’s help saying it came at a time when the country was in a serious crisis after the natural disaster.
"The response from Kenya speaks volumes. Pakistan is experiencing a natural calamity of unprecedented proportions, probably the worst monsoon flash floods in the living memory," he said.
About 1,600 people have been killed and over 14 million displaced following the recent floods in Pakistan. Outbreaks of disease in the northwest part of the country have been common among the victims affected by Pakistan\’s worst floods in 80 years.
Since the disaster befell the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon requested for $460 million for emergency relief. There are fears that Pakistan risks running up a higher fiscal deficit which would lead to increased government borrowing.
Before the floods, the country had a healthy forex reserve of $16.45 billion, thanks to a $11.3 billion IMF rescue package meant to stave off Pakistan\’s worst balance of payment crisis and 30-year-high inflation in 2008.
After recording its lowest growth in a decade, GDP had been expected to grow by 4.5 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 but the floods could shave at least one percent off growth estimates.
Pakistan\’s UN envoy in Geneva, Zamir Akram, has said reconstruction in northern areas alone could cost $2.5 billion.
Food prices are already rising and there are fuel shortages in some areas.
Experts have urged the government – already weak and unpopular – to move quickly, warning that the losses could fan unemployment and social unrest.