As attention focuses on the drought gripping East Africa, a new report from Islamic
Relief urges the international community not to neglect the forgotten emergency
of eight million people who remain in dire need of basic health care, food or shelter
in Pakistan – one year on from the most devastating floods in the country’s history.
Flooded and Forgotten shows that millions of Pakistanis are still
paying the price for a woefully inadequate international response that fell $603
million short of UN appeals – with those affected receiving only an eighth of what
was spent on aid for Haiti’s hurricane victims. Depicting disaster relief as a lottery
in which the response of donor governments varies dramatically according to other
international demands and domestic economic constraints, the report urges the UK
government to take a lead in disaster risk reduction.
“We believe that the time has come to establish a global contingency fund to tackle
climate-related emergencies like the Pakistan floods and the current drought in
East Africa,” says Jehangir Malik, Islamic Relief’s UK Director. “We must protect
vulnerable countries from being so dependent on the lottery of fresh UN appeals
and uncertain responses every time disaster strikes."
Flooded and Forgotten warns of a ‘vast unmet need’ and a ‘largely unnoticed
humanitarian crisis’ in many flood-hit areas of Pakistan. The floods covered a fifth
of the country – an area the size of England – and forced 11 million people from
More people were affected by the floods than by the Kashmir and Haiti earthquakes,
the 2004 Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina combined. At least eight million
remain in dire need of basic health care, food or shelter, and up to six million
could be affected by new floods during the coming monsoon season.
The report also says that…
Only 43% of the 827,000 houses destroyed by last year’s floods have been replaced
Many houses are being hastily reconstructed on the same lines as those washed away
– in contrast to Islamic Relief’s approach which involves training and equipping
people to build their own flood and earthquake-resistant brick homes
The UK was in the top five most generous aid donors in response to the floods but
some OECD countries did not give anything at all, and traditional donors such as
France and Italy gave tiny amounts
The 18 million Pakistanis affected by the floods have received nearly eight times
less in aid per person than Haitians affected by the earthquake
Greater investment in disaster risk reduction is critical. Pakistan’s National Disasters
Management Authority says that if $40 million had been invested in flood protection
measures, nine-tenths of the $10 billion economic costs inflicted by the 2010 floods
could have been saved.
Download the Report
NOTES TO EDITORS
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