5 Responses

  1. How much help would it be if the U.S. donated all the money it is using for drone attacks and base protection in Pakistan, instead of having bases & doing drone attacks? How much help would it be if the Pakistan military left the Taliban alone & used their resources for flood relief. Just now on democracynow, the Pakistani guest is talking about a city of 900,000 that got flooded because of diversion of water and resources from U.S. air base. Seems to me that sort of help should come first, both for practical purposes & as an example of how serious the national leadership views their own problems, before external resources are solicited. Why should non-Paks & U.S. citizens take Pak flood problems more seriously than our govts do?

  2. Hi Kathleen
    It is a matter of opinion which relief organisation is best. I personally like ActionAid link to actionaid.org as they are strong on human rights, women’s rights and long term development and focus on building up local organisations in response to the wishes of local people rather than imposing solutions.

    In order to give efficiently you should give regularly (monthly direct debit) to the same organisation rather than swapping around between organisations. This allows organisations to plan ahead and to reduce their fundraising costs.

    It is also best to give the money to the organisation without restrictions (ie without stipulating the money should be spent in x or y location) – this reduces administration costs and allows the organisation to spend the money where it can be used most effectively.

    In many countries (eg UK) you can gift aid your donations (so the charity can claim the tax back) and this will make your donation go further at no cost to yourself.

    ActionAid is supported by celebrities including Annie Lennox, Jack Nicholson, Emma Thompson, Bianca Jagger and Andi Osho!

  3. link to democracynow.org

    September 2, 2010

    As Pakistan Floods Continue Moving South, Calls for Debt Cancellation Grow

    In Pakistan, torrential rains a month ago that triggered unprecedented floods have moved steadily from north to south, engulfing a fifth of the country. Seventeen million people have been affected, and some five million have lost their homes. Meanwhile, a movement to cancel Pakistan’s external debt is now underway as campaigners plan a protest in front of Pakistan’s parliament house today to call on international institutions like the IMF to cancel the country’s debt….

    JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d like to also ask Qalandar Memon about this. It’s been reported in the past few days about the diversion of waters from the floods to save a US military base that was in the path of the floodwaters. Could you talk about that?

    QALANDAR MEMON: Yes. I just want to continue what Madiha was saying, as well. I think the war is continuing on both sides. It’s not just the US, but also the Pakistani military, and they really are partners. And a good example of this would be, like, what you just ask me about. The air base is called Shahbaz Air Base, and this is in Jacobabad district. And the water could have been diverted. The water was increasing in pressure and volume, and it could have been diverted in two directions. One was toward the city where—Jacobabad city, where 900,000 people would have been affected. On the other side, it could have been diverted, and far less people, less than 100,000, would have been affected, but an air base would certainly have been sacrificed. And the military, in the dead of night, breached the canal so that the water goes towards the 900,000 people, as opposed to the air base. And, you know, it’s said that the air base is in the control of US military and that this is where the drones are flown from. And the secretary of—health secretary, in fact, in the Senate committee said that relief efforts cannot take place in Jacobabad, because the US government would not allow flights from Shahbaz Air Base to take off for relief work. And yesterday, there was an air strike by the Pakistan military—pardon me—in the northern area, which killed around forty people. Now, the headlines always say “militants,” but we do not know how many were militants and how many were innocent. So—and, of course, there was also three bomb blasts in Lahore. So it seems that war continues while 17 million people are homeless and suffering.

  4. link to democracynow.org

    September 2, 2010

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I’d like to ask Madiha Tahir, on the issue of the continuing US drone strikes in the area of Pakistan, as it continues to fight the spillover effects from the Afghanistan war, could you—are those continuing? And were you able to, in your travels through the flood-ravaged area, get any sense of the extent of how those attacks are continuing?

    MADIHA TAHIR: They are certainly continuing. I mean, even as the US was promising aid, you know, initially $150 million or so, at the same time—$150 million of aid for the flood—as a flood relief package—at the same time, there was—excuse me—at the same time, there were still drone strikes continuing. On August 14th, which is Pakistan’s independence day, and when we were already in the middle of this crisis, the flood crisis, there were drone strikes in the northern parts of Pakistan.

    So it’s a very schizophrenic policy, partially because if the concern of the United States is indeed terrorism and stopping terrorism, and there’s all this discussion about, you know, disaffection and poverty as being causes of terrorism, certainly it would make more sense to, you know, put the money that is now going toward drone strikes towards flood relief. I mean, you now have 20 million people or so that have been affected by this crisis. This is, you know, a quarter of Pakistan is now underwater. So it’s a very schizophrenic policy. You know, the amount of money that the US gives the Pakistan army for its security efforts is, you know, about $150 million a month, which is very—which is pretty much close to what they have promised as a sum total package at the moment for flood relief. So it’s very—it’s a strange policy, and there’s a lot of anger about it, as well. I mean, I saw USAID camps, tents that had been given, and these were actually simply just kind of plastic sheets that people had taken and had bought their own sticks to prop up as tents, and they were falling in, I mean, some of the worst, shabbiest tents around.

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