Sindh Cities inundated as Flooding continues;
Fears of advances by al-Qaeda

Frenetic efforts to repair a 20 foot breach in the barrage guarding the major Sindhi city of Shahdadkot succeeded in keeping the city from being washed away. As it is, 90% of the urban area that once housed 300,000 has now been affected by the rushing flood waters. Relief officials say that the period through early morning Sunday is critical.

American and Pakistani officials fear that the disruptions of the flood may afford an opportunity to Muslim radical vigilantes to recruit and to spread their influence among the affected population.

The UN is afraid that the flooding will wipe out millions of livestock. As it is, nearly 7 million tons of wheat stocks have been swept away or damaged.

Aljazeera English reports on the danger of disease outbreaks in Pakistan, where 20 million have been displaced and the flooding has often made the water supply unsanitary.

Aljazeera English reports on the difficulty the UN has had in raising money from donors to meet the dire needs of Pakistan (though just in the past day or two there has been a significant advance in fundraising:

Among the donor countries is India, whose offer to help with a $5 million monetary donation was accepted by the government of PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, despite the controversies provoked by that move. India and Pakistan have fought several wars against one another and are divided over the Kashmir issue. The proffering and acceptance of Indian aid by the Pakistani defense ministries is extremely important and could lead to better relations between the two countries.

3 Responses

  1. Is there a fund set up for individuals to donate? I see UNICEF has one and I expect there are others. It would be useful if you could suggest some for people to make individual contributions.

  2. I am certain that the results of Transparency International’s audits of many of the donations to earthquake relief in Pakistan showing that between 60 and 80% of these donations never reached the intended victims, but rather were diverted in corrupt ways, has had a major impact on the International response to the floods. This did not get major play in the US press, but it was featured in the German and Scandinavian Press in recent months.

    And yes, it is a breakthrough for Pakistan to accept Indian Aid. In particular it could be very useful if some of the international medical NGO’s dealing with water borne disease can import medications from India, as they have a full range, and produce quality at one of the lowest world prices. Organizing the mass treatment of those who have survived thus far for these diseases seems to be to be priority #1 at this point.

  3. link to democracynow.org

    August 23, 2010

    U.S. Drone Strike Killed Six In Pakistan
    By Amy Goodman

    In other news from Pakistan, at least six militants reportedly died Saturday in a US. drone strike in North Waziristan near the Afghan border. It was second U.S. drone attack since massive floods hit Pakistan in late July.

    [Shame beyond shame.]

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