Below the radar: Floods in Pakistan called the worst humanitarian disaster in recent memory

Rick Moran
The scale of the tragedy is beyond belief. Literally millions of Pakistanis are affected by the floods and the government's response has ranged from non-existent to pathetic.

I suppose you can't really blame them entirely. The scope of this catastrophe is beyond coping with. Even western governments would have a hard time, as this Telegraph article points out:

Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: "This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake."

The comparison illustrates the scale of the crisis facing Pakistan as its inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy battles to mitigate the effects of the flooding.
The disaster zone stretches from the Swat Valley in the north, where 600,000 people are in need of help, to Sindh in the south.

Billions of pounds will be needed to rebuild affected areas but western nations have pledged only tens of millions in aid. Radical Islamic groups are jockeying to fill the vacuum left by government incompetence and relative international indifference.

This is perhaps the biggest problem; a citizenry that could become radicalized overnight in nuclear armed Pakistan. With 13 million people affected, and a death toll that is surely vastly understated, President Zardari, inexplicably, went on a European tour to visit Britain and France at the height of the crisis, drawing bitter denunciations from the opposition.

And the response of the west? "Lukewarm" is how UN officials describe it. Pakistan has asked the US for dozens of helicopters as well as money and supplies to deal with the threat of starvation facing millions whose homes, businesses, livelihoods, and family members have been swept away.

Maybe its time to push the panic button and get the kind of massive relief sent to Haiti after the earthquake on the way to Pakistan before the humanitarian crisis results in political catastrophe.


The scale of the tragedy is beyond belief. Literally millions of Pakistanis are affected by the floods and the government's response has ranged from non-existent to pathetic.

I suppose you can't really blame them entirely. The scope of this catastrophe is beyond coping with. Even western governments would have a hard time, as this Telegraph article points out:

Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: "This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake."

The comparison illustrates the scale of the crisis facing Pakistan as its inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy battles to mitigate the effects of the flooding.

The disaster zone stretches from the Swat Valley in the north, where 600,000 people are in need of help, to Sindh in the south.

Billions of pounds will be needed to rebuild affected areas but western nations have pledged only tens of millions in aid. Radical Islamic groups are jockeying to fill the vacuum left by government incompetence and relative international indifference.

This is perhaps the biggest problem; a citizenry that could become radicalized overnight in nuclear armed Pakistan. With 13 million people affected, and a death toll that is surely vastly understated, President Zardari, inexplicably, went on a European tour to visit Britain and France at the height of the crisis, drawing bitter denunciations from the opposition.

And the response of the west? "Lukewarm" is how UN officials describe it. Pakistan has asked the US for dozens of helicopters as well as money and supplies to deal with the threat of starvation facing millions whose homes, businesses, livelihoods, and family members have been swept away.

Maybe its time to push the panic button and get the kind of massive relief sent to Haiti after the earthquake on the way to Pakistan before the humanitarian crisis results in political catastrophe.