HEADLINES -- August 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM ET
Wednesday: Aid to Pakistan Falls Short; BP to Begin Transferring Claims
Pakistanis walk in the flooded area of Shah Jamal on Wednesday. Photo by Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images.
The picture of devestation from the floods in Pakistan continues to worsen Wednesday. The European Union said it will spend an extra $25 million to fund emergency aid for victims of the crisis. The announcement brings the total promised by the EU to $90 million, not including money donated by individual member states.
The United Nations said it has now raised nearly half of the $460 million it needs for initial relief efforts. The U.N. also said six million people desperately need emergency aid but most still have not received it.
A former deputy secretary general of the U.N. criticized Pakistan's leadership for failing to make the scope of the destruction and the urgency of the need clear to international donors, reports the New York Times via the BBC:
"[I]t's a terrible thing to say but, you know, they require disciplined marketing. There needs to be a clear message that lives are at stake and the whole of the domestic effort of the country is devoted to trying to save those lives."
The BBC also has maps and graphics of the disaster here.
Meantime, militants exploiting the flooding chaos clashed with police overnight, the Associated Press reports.
BP to Begin Transferring Claims
After Wednesday, BP plans to stop accepting claims from people and businesses hurt by the Gulf oil disaster as it prepares to transfer that role to a government-appointed administrator. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, led by Kenneth Feinberg, will take over the process Aug. 23.
Meantime, BP engineers and government scientists are still discussing the best way to relieve pressure in busted well before BP is allowed to complete the relief well, the ultimate step in permanently sealing it.
NATO Frees 27 in Taliban Prison
Security forces in southern Afghanistan found 27 shackled Afghan men in a makeshift Taliban prison compound, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Wednesday.