Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Video of Pakistan Flood Horror-August 17, 2010 (Millions Without Help)

This video speaks for itself. According to the UN many of the 20 million people affected by floods in Pakistan have yet to receive any aid. The relief operation is underfunded and much of the country's infrastructure has been destroyed.

Yesterday the UN appealed again for money, saying it was desperately short, having raised $160m (£100m) of the $460m required to cover just the first 90 days of the disaster.

"We cannot spend pledges. We cannot buy purification tablets, we cannot support Pakistan with pledges," Daniel Toole, the South Asia regional director for the UN's children fund, Unicef, said on Tuesday.

"I urge the international community to urgently change pledges into cheques."

The UN has warned that up to 3.5 million children could be in danger of contracting deadly diseases carried through contaminated water and insects.

"We have a country which has endemic watery diarrhoea, endemic cholera, endemic upper respiratory infections and we have the conditions for much much expanded problems," Toole said.

The World Bank is to make $900m available. The international community has pledged $353m to the floods cause. Sadly however much of that money has yet to arrive. The US is donating $76m, followed by the UK, which has promised £31.3m. Saudi Arabia has delivered $44m, whilst Turkey is to give $11m. Nick Clegg has called the international response "pitiful". Frequently pledges of international aid fail to materialise.

Irish aid agency Concern issued a worldwide appeal to raise €5 million to help victims of the flooding.

“The Irish public and the Government have always rallied to help victims of natural disasters and we are asking for the public’s urgent help for Pakistan,” said Concern’s regional director Bríd Kennedy. “This is a terrible catastrophe affecting some of the most vulnerable people in the world who are living in dire poverty.”

Trócaire, which has run aid projects in Pakistan for more than 20 years, has also launched an appeal for donations.

Junior Minister for overseas aid, Peter Power, said the €750,000 (£614,209) provided to Pakistan so far was only an “initial amount”. He promised that more aid would be committed.
“It's an unfolding disaster; it's happening in slow motion. It's not like the Haiti earthquake where 250,000 people died in a minute or the tsunami, where people were gone in a few minutes,” he said.

Please donate. Thousands of lives depend on our response. People can donate to Concern or Trocaire or other agencies online. It is also important to lobby Government Ministers worldwide. The International response is just not good enough.

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