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U.S. to double helicopters for Pakistan

From Charley Keyes, CNN Senior Producer
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Scarce aid leads to desperation, panic
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Total will go from 15 to 30 U.S. helicopters
  • Pakistan's needs "are going to be absolutely vast"
  • At last, in most places, the water is receding

Washington (CNN) -- The United States is planning to double the number of U.S. helicopters helping rescue and relief operations in Pakistan.

"We have about 15 helicopters in theater," Daniel Feldman, deputy to the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters at the State Department Monday. "We are deploying another 18 helicopters."

Though some helicopters will be rotated out, "all together we aim to get close to 30 U.S. government helicopters into the region in the next 10 days or two weeks or so," Feldman said.

He said that the flood crest is now reaching the Indian Ocean, but it may take weeks to calculate what Pakistan will need to recover. "We calculate that the needs are going to be absolutely vast," Feldman said.

Video: Aiding Pakistan's flood victims

"The good news at this point is is that in most places waters are no longer rising but are finally receding."

He said that, in addition to some $200 million in aid pledged by the U.S. government, American companies are providing assistance -- including $1 million from Coca Cola and $1 million and dried food items from Sheraton, $1 million from BP, and $600,000 in cash and water purification tablets from Procter & Gamble.