| GEO World|
| In quake-hit Chile, UN chief Ban pledges 10 mln dollars|
| Updated at: 0500 PST, Saturday, March 06, 2010|
SANTIAGO: UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived Friday in Chile to assess damage from a devastating earthquake and tsunami, and pledged 10 million dollars in relief from a United Nation's emergency fund.
The secretary-general said the money would be released from the Central Emergency Response Fund to help UN agencies support relief efforts in the wake of the massive 8.8-magnitude quake that killed more than 800 people.
"I am very moved to see such strong courage and resilience of the Chilean people," Ban said upon arrival in the country.
He met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to discuss immediate and long-term needs after the quake, which unleashed a tsunami that washed away entire villages in some of the country's coastal areas.
The pair later met with Chilean ministers and UN officials working in the country, and Ban was also due to hold talks with president-elect Sebastian Pinera.
The UN chief called on the international community to give generously to Chile, which he said had not held back in donating aid and relief to Haiti after it suffered a January 12 earthquake that killed over 220,000 people.
"Chile has been extraordinarily generous in assisting Haiti in its time of need. Now is the moment for the United Nations and the international community to stand with Chile and its people," he said.
On Friday evening, Ban and Bachelet were to launch a 24-hour telethon to be broadcast on national television in an effort to raise 30 million dollars for victims of the quake.