The world is now familiar with the tragic story beginning in July 2010, relentless monsoon downpours caused severe flooding in the history of Pakistan, a country already crippled with crises. The freak deluge displaced millions, washed away entire villages, broke the spines of bridges and devastated crops. The images of the recent floods in Pakistan, described by UN as the worst disaster in human history, have been harrowing.
Whereas estimated loss of life and property are impossibly high and regrettable, the officially reported figures by the Federal Flood Commission are far lower. The UN estimates Pakistan needs aid commitments of at least US $460 million over the next few months to tide over the crisis. So far, it has received only a percentage of the required. Aid is not flowing into Pakistan the same way it has flowed to other countries that also suffered natural disasters.
UN spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs in Geneva was not diplomatic in blaming Pakistans image deficit in the west for hampering aid pledges. According to her, Pakistan is among the countries that are poorly financed, like Yemen. Much has been said about the Pakistani presidents apathy towards the crises in the country.
The response of the worlds worst natural catastrophe in recent history has been far below expectations with more focus on fears of insurgency than concern for the humanitarian crises. This is in stark contrast to the swift response to the Haiti earthquake disaster in January which saw eminent people such as former US president Bill Clinton leading the relief effort.