The flood crisis has been going on for a good few days now and aid agencies and the UN are talking about a serious lack of funding to help in the relief effort. When the earthquake happened in Haiti there was no such shortage and a huge amount of money was raised very quickly. So why is the money so difficult to obtain this time?
The answer is that Pakistan has an image problem. Pakistan has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the last few years. Things such as harbouring terrorists, security issues resulting in sporting cancellations and constant questioning over human rights abuses have all contributed to the poor image Pakistan has. The fact that Pakistan declares itself to be a Muslim state that follows the laws of Islam does them no favours either.
Northwest Pakistan is bordered by Afghanistan which automatically brings them into a world of shit. The fleeing of refugees and terrorists into Pakistan is inevitable and they can’t cope with it. To the Southeast of Pakistan lies India which Pakistan has been arguing with for decades. There are land disputes and occasional violence between the two countries. Both have nuclear capabilities that make matters worse and adds huge paranoia to the situation.
Since 9/11 Pakistan has been lumped in with other countries as being enemies of the western world and are an affront to democracy. Some of this is justified, some is not. The result though is a general feeling of apathy towards Pakistan in the wake of the floods.
The contrast couldn’t have been starker with Haiti. Bill Clinton led the charge as aid came rushing in. Haiti is a piss poor country that has never offended anyone or caused any trouble on the world stage. I don’t see Bill Clinton in Pakistan and I don’t see the money flooding in either.
India won’t give any money and Afghanistan is a train wreck of a country so their two closest neighbours are immediately written off for help.
According to Fianna Fail Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Power, Ireland is giving about 20 million worth of aid to Pakistan. Is that too much? Is it not enough? I don’t know the answer but if there was a massive flood in Ireland I’d like to think other countries would help.