The United Nations says it has yet to raise half its $460 million target. The World Health Organization has received commitments for just 25 percent of the $56 million it has asked for. One aid group has called donations from European countries “feeble.”
Relief agencies say they are puzzled by the lack of generosity, while analysts cite a mix of factors: the disaster’s low death toll, its timing during the northern hemisphere’s summer holidays — and fears that aid money will be squandered through corruption or make its way into the hands of the Taliban.
After a slow start, the U.N. and relief agencies say donations are now rising as the scale of the calamity becomes clear. But the response has been far less spectacular than the global generosity that followed Haiti’s earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Since late July, floods triggered by monsoon rains have washed through Pakistan from its mountainous northwest, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and an estimated 1.7 million acres (nearly 700,000 hectares) of farmland. Some 1,500 people have been killed, and 20 million are affected.
“The problem is that it’s not as immediate as an earthquake,” said Melanie Brooks of aid group CARE International. “It can’t be captured on a photograph like in Haiti. Someone wading through the water is not the same as seeing someone pulling a relative out of the rubble.”
What is your regional association doing to organize the relief response for flooding in Pakistan? Let me know and I’ll post back with resources.