standard Pakistan disaster relief aid — does the money get there?

In Pakistan, millions are homeless and while the north is no longer experiencing intense flooding, it is still a problem in other parts of the country.  In the Sindh province of southern Pakistan, Manchar Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Pakistan, burst displacing around 100,000 people. Public health problems, especially disease, are also of great concern as aid has been pledged and received from countries throughout the world.  But how much is received by the people who need it most is of course the question on many people’s minds.  The EU has doubled its flood aid to 150 million euros and one would think certainly this would help resolve many of the country’s problems, but clearly when dealing with disasters of this scale it takes far more than money.  In many cases, it is people on the ground, those who dedicate their time and energy in the face of adversity, that make the most direct impact as 12 million (or more) people in Pakistan are currently in need of relief aid.

According to data provided by Reliefweb, the desperate need for basic necessities and infrastructure such as health care, food, water, sanitation etc. is largely unmet.  Today, an emergency appeal was made by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to assist 125,000 people who have been displaced from their homes for the next 9 months.  This document (budget on page 9) provides an example of how funding is allocated for emergency aid projects, at least in the case of the above institution.  Obviously this isn’t a simple process and understanding the bureaucracy involved seems like only the beginning.  Perhaps new networks need to be in place or better utilised to transcend the boundaries that block or delay the international aid process.  Even if everyone jumps in at once to help there is still the matter of developing accurate and efficient communication amongst all donors involved.  Addressing the risks involved during the aftermath of areas hit by flooding, tsunamis, cyclones and other hazards often isn’t enough, we must also find ways to transcend risk in order to build resilience for when the next disaster occurs.

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