Pakistan Flood Disaster Aid

By: Greyer | Posted: 27th August 2010

As the tragedy in Pakistan continues to worsen, affecting millions already, and with dire warnings of loss of life potentially reaching into the millions, foreign aid is crucial in dealing with the disaster. Sadly, the amount of aid promised and currently being delivered is falling far short of what is needed. Food, clean water and shelter are in short supply and the flooding is expected to spread even more.

The situation is becoming desperate in the Punjab region, where some 8 million are reportedly affected, and there have been reports of looting and protests as the locals struggle to find the basic necessities to stay alive. The United Nations has acknowledged that the biggest problem is a shortage of relief materials, not lack of access to the stricken areas. The lack of clean water is a major concern and millions, especially children, are at risk of fatal diseases caused from drinking contaminated water.

There are many reports of desperate people swimming through the flood waters in search of food and supplies to bring back to stranded survivors who have yet to receive any aid. As the sense of hopelessness grows, more deaths and unrest are likely unless aid is increased far above current levels. 2 million tents, for instance, are needed and Pakistan has so far received less than 100,000.

A more long-term issue is the rebuilding of roads, bridges and other infrastructure that have been damaged or destroyed by the flooding. The World Bank has promised to redirect 900 million dollars from other projects in Pakistan into the relief and rebuilding effort but much more help is needed. Government buildings, schools and hospitals have been lost along with countless homes and a massive effort will be necessary over the next few years to rebuild what has already been destroyed and the damage may spread even further.

Many crops have been lost as the flooding has hit hard in Pakistan's agricultural belt, adding to the potential shortages of food as the relief effort continues. There are concerns that the wheat crop may not be able to be planted in September due to the flooded fields, further exacerbating the potential long term food supply dilemma. Unicef has called the disaster the "biggest emergency on the planet today".

For those trying to call Pakistan to reach friends or family it has been frustrating, to say the least. As the infrastructure begins to be rebuilt and communication starts to return to normal many will want to take advantage of telecom providers who make cheap calls to Pakistan available to everyone world-wide. Pakistan needs the world to come to its aid and we should all do our part to help in the relief and recovery.
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Tags: million dollars, locals, basic necessities, clean water, hopelessness, crops, government buildings, unrest, fatal diseases, contaminated water, flood waters, protests