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Asia-pacific

Aid money for Pakistani flood victims lags behind Haiti relief

Text by Aurélie BLONDEL

Latest update : 2010-08-17

Floods in Pakistan have reportedly killed 1,600 people and affected 20 million more. But international aid pledges have been much slower to surface than they were after the Haiti earthquake.

“Miserable” was the word used by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to describe the sum of aid money pledged so far by the international community to help the 20 million people affected by the floods in Pakistan. While his own government has already sent 17 million pounds (20.5 million euros) to the country, Clegg thinks the world at large has not yet grasped the magnitude of the disaster. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has echoed that sentiment, calling for further aid contributions on Sunday. The situation stands in contrast with the widespread aid initiatives undertaken after a massive earthquake struck Haiti on January 12.

Several charity organisations have deplored the relatively low amount of aid money sent to them to help Pakistanis after the floods. In an interview given to the Web site of the French daily Le Monde, French Red Cross spokesman Jean-François Riffaud explained that in one week, 90,000 euros were sent to his association for the flood victims in Pakistan – “compared to 2 million euros in donations received within three days after the Haiti earthquake”, he added.

France24.com takes a look at which countries and international agencies are offering emergency funds, and how much.
 
A call to action by the UN: To aid Pakistanis affected by the floods, the UN has called for contributions amounting to 460 million dollars on August 11. Three weeks after the floods began, only 35 percent of the requested money has been offered. Three days after the earthquake in Haiti, the UN had asked for 562 million dollars in aid and received 90% of the sum within a month.
 
France: In response to the UN’s call, France said it would send 1.05 million euros in emergency aid money – much less than the 10 million euros announced by Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on January 18, six days after the Haitian earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince. On a visit to Haiti on February 17, French President Nicolas Sarkozy specified that 24 million euros in emergency aid money had in fact been sent.
 
USA: President Barack Obama said 100 million dollars was the amount of aid money to be sent to Haiti following the earthquake. As for Pakistan, the US announced on August 12 that 76 million dollars had been set aside for Pakistani flood victims.
 
The European Union: In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, the EU gave 30 million dollars of relief money in the name of the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO), in addition to individual donations made by each member country. For the floods in Pakistan, the department has given 40 million euros so far.
 
World Bank: The World Bank declared in a press release on August 16 that it would send 900 million dollars to Pakistan to help the country recover from the floods. It did not specify when the money would be sent. That is more than the 100 million dollars in aid money initially announced after the earthquake in Haiti. But the institution explained in July that it had ended up “giving 479 million dollars in support of the reconstruction of Haiti”.

 

Date created : 2010-08-17

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