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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Donors Pledge $6Bln for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD -- Quake-stricken Pakistan heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday after world donors pledged almost $6 billion, and vowed in return to account for every cent as it distributes the aid to survivors of last month's tremor.

Pakistan, seen as one of the most corrupt nations in a recent global survey, secured over $3 billion in fresh pledges at a donor conference on Saturday, taking the total to $5.83 billion, after the United Nations complained of a weak initial response.

"It will help change the lives of millions of people stricken by the tragedy," the News newspaper said in an editorial on Sunday, having headlined its front-page story: "Finally, world conscience shaken and stirred. Hope wins the day."

The Oct. 8 quake killed more than 73,000, mostly in the remote Himalayan region of Pakistani Kashmir and in Northwest Frontier Province, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Fears had grown of a second calamity as winter closed in, threatening people in the mountains without proper shelter.

International aid banks and countries more than doubled their pledges at Saturday's conference in Islamabad, exceeding Pakistan's target of $5.2 billion, after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan came to plead for more money.

But in announcing their pledges, several donors spoke of the need for proper accounting and for all of the cash to be spent on the survivors. Proper accounting systems do not yet exist in Pakistan to publicly track the aid money right down to the district and village level, aid group Oxfam said Sunday.