Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Saturday, 13 December 2008

UK gives aid package to Pakistan

Douglas Alexander
Douglas Alexander has been meeting people of Pakistani origin

The UK is giving a 480m support package to Pakistan to help increase security on the Afghanistan border.

Douglas Alexander, the UK international development secretary, said the money would also be focused on education and health projects.

The MP launched the plan at Glasgow Central Mosque, at the end of a UK tour to meet people of Pakistani origin.

The UK wanted to "help ease the suffering of the 36 million poor people living in Pakistan", he added.

More than 250m has been earmarked to increase training for young people and get five million children into school.

Mr Alexander said: "We are brought together by a shared history and strong cultural and economic ties.

"We need community groups, the private sector and civil society to work together, to work with the international community, and to work with us to fight poverty through development.

"Our aim is to continue to help improve poor people's lives in key areas, making sure they have access to better healthcare, schools and employment opportunities."

Other plans for the money include helping reduce the incidence of diseases such as TB and polio, and assisting with earthquake reconstruction.

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