The day after world donors raised aid pledges to almost two billion dollars, Holbrooke said the eventual cost of the monsoon disaster could run into the “tens of billions of dollars.”

“The international community will not be able to pick up the full cost of reconstruction,” Holbrooke said.

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“There will be a need for continued international assistance, but what we need to stress is that at a time of scarcity in other countries, a reconstruction effort cannot be financed completely by other countries.”