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World Bank loans 900 million dollars to Pakistan

media Flood victims in Pakistan's Sukkur district AFP

The World Bank said Monday it will provide a 900 million dollar (700 million euro) loan to flood-hit Pakistan, saying the impact of the disaster on the economy is expected to be huge.

"The government of Pakistan has requested around 900 million dollars of financial support from the World Bank, which we have committed to provide," the Bank said in a statement.

The floods over the last three weeks, described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, have affected 20 million people according to the Pakistani government, destroying homes, crops and infrastructure.

The UN has said International aid has been slow and has raised only a third of the 460 million dollars (360 million euros) requested for emergency relief.

Some aid agencies have cited donor fears of aid money falling into the wrong hands.

"We note often an image deficit with regards to Pakistan among Western public opinion," Elizabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Monday.

Melanie Brooks, spokesperson of the aid group Care International, insisted that the UN must explain to donor states that "the money is not going to go to the hands of the Talibans".

"The victims are the mothers, the farmers, children," she said. "But in the past, information linked to Pakistan has always been linked to Talibans and terrorism."

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