The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Thursday decided to provide food assistance to nearly 20,000 people who were affected by Wednesday's powerful earthquake in southwestern Pakistan.
The WFP plans to initially provide 700 tons of dry food rations to affected communities, and the package includes wheat flour, pulses, edible oil and salt for two months, according to a press release from the UN information center in Islamabad.
The 6.5-magnitude earthquake occurred on early Wednesday morning near Balochistan's capital Quetta and has killed more than 200 people.
The death toll is expected to rise as many bodies may be buried under rubbles when the calamity leveled about 2,000 mud-walled houses.
The earthquake also left about 15,000 people homeless.
"We need to move fast, so we are going to start distributing food stocks from our warehouses in Quetta and Peshawar, so we can reach the people who need it most," said Wolfgang Herbinger, WFP Country Director in Pakistan.
(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2008)