UN seeks $543 million for Pakistan war refugees

The United Nations appealed Friday for $543 million to ease the "incredible suffering" of nearly 2 million refugees from Pakistan's war against Taliban militants. The world body said the money was urgently needed to fund some 165 projects drawn up by U.N. agencies and aid groups to assist civilians fleeing the conflict centered on the northwestern Swat Valley. "The scale of this displacement is extraordinary in terms of size and speed and has caused incredible suffering," Martin Mogwanja, the acting U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan, said in a statement. "We are calling for generous support from the international community," he said.