Pakistan Floods Threaten Fragile Government

Pakistan's historic floods have displaced millions and covered over one-fifth of the nuclear armed South Asian state. They now threaten to destabilize its government. The scope of the crisis is so vast with the aid flowing in so slowly, the Taliban has seized the initiative to capitalize on growing anger to turn desperate people to their cause.

Aid is difficult with Pakistan because of a history of corruption and suspicion that monies will flow either to officials or to the Taliban with little going to the people in need. NGOs such as Save the Children, UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders have pointed out that their aid does not flow through the Pakistani government, but is sent to support the people directly.

USAID is the current largest contributor, diverting personnel, air transport and combat troops from Afghanistan over the border to provide food and rescue as many of the millions who are stranded as possible. The U.S. State Department has set up a Pakistan Relief Fund that they say will not go to corrupt officials and ask that people donate what they can.

Senator John Kerry, who hurried out to the region to tour the devastation himself said, after a twenty-five minute helicopter ride showed no dry land -- only intense flooding -- that Pakistan was in danger because of the unprecedented disaster and that could effect us all. Pakistan -- no matter how anyone feels about its involvement with Afghanistan and the politics that swirl around it -- with its nuclear arms, as a failed state, is a frightening proposition. Twenty million innocents caught in the middle is a humanitarian catastrophe. If you can give, you should. If you cannot, share the information so that others know what is at stake for everyone.

Links to aid groups:

The U.S. State Department Pakistan Relief Fund

Save the Children's Pakistan Emergency Fund

UNICEF Pakistan Emergency Fund

Doctors Without Borders in Pakistan

A list of global relief efforts

Related story: World Climate Roundup: Jet Stream's Stall Over Asia Causes Chaos, Heat Builds in the West


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