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Red Cross Appeals for $7.8 Million to Aid Pakistan Earthquake Victims

The Associated Press reported via the Chicago Tribune that the Red Cross appealed Sunday for a $7.8 emergency fund to aid victims of an earthquake that ravaged southwest Pakistan.
The 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit just before dawn on Wednesday in an impoverished area near the Afghan border. Officials said the quake left thousands homeless and at least 215 dead - a number expected to rise above 300.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that relief workers are still uncovering mountain villages devastated by the quake and have not yet received any aid. As winter sets in, their main priority is to provide shelter the homeless.
An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people were impacted. The U.N. has put the figure at more than 100,000, half of which are children.
The ICRC said the Ziarat district, which has a population of about 50,000, was affected the worst.
Authorities and the army are transporting tents, sleeping bags and food to victims in the valleys of Baluchistan province. Officials said many of the tents need insulation and stoves in lieu of the cooling weather.
The Red Cross and authorities are also gathering stores of antibiotics to treat children in the region who have been affected by an outbreak of chest infections.
UNICEF said it was delivering supplies of water to Ziarat in attempts to prevent the onset of cholera and diarrhea in young children. The organization appealed for $5 million from donors.
The United States said Friday it would provide an initial $1 million in aid. China, Germany and other countries have also offered financial assistance.