Pakistan PM Cancels US Trip Due to Floods

Posted September 16th, 2011 at 3:14 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's prime minister has canceled a trip next week to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York, saying he will instead coordinate flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

Yusuf Raza Gilani said Friday his foreign minister will address the General Assembly in his place.

The ongoing flooding has killed some 230 people and left more than 300,000 others homeless.

The southern Sindh province is particularly hard hit, facing an urgent need for food, shelter, safe drinking water and access to health services.

Pakistani leaders were widely criticized last year for neglecting flood victims.

Sindh was also badly hit during last year's devastating floods in Pakistan, which killed more than 1,700 people and submerged one fifth of the country.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the Pakistan government's response to the flood crisis this year. He was said the U.N. is committed to supporting Islamabad in its efforts to address the needs of the more than five million people in the affected areas.