Monday, August 16, 2010

"Donor fatigue" cools response to Pakistan floods

We have had disaster after disaster over the last few years, from tsunamis to earthquakes and now onto flooding. Aid agencies fear that "donor fatigue" is setting in as governments and individuals are starting to become tired of what seems to be a constant stream of tragedy in the world.

From the UK Mirror, a story from writer Nick Owens touches on the lack of money being pledged for the Pakistan floods.

But disaster charities are warning that too much of the world is still turning a blind eye. Donations aren't getting through. Aid agencies are frustrated at what they see as meagre donations from governments across the West, and disaster fatigue from donors.

Ian Bray, of Oxfam, said: "The international community has been slow off the mark and it is perplexing as to why. I think they took their eye off the ball and didn't realise how big it was and didn't act quickly enough."

John Baguley of the International Fundraising Consultancy added: "I would have expected aid to be higher. People gave very generously to the Pakistan earthquake appeal, then for the tsunami and the relief in Haiti.

"There may be an element of donor fatigue playing a part here." In Pakistan yesterday the lack of help led to angry scenes at camps set up by British aid agencies.

At one - in a college in the tiny village of Khandarkale, Nowshera - women said they had been beaten and abused by men as they fought over sparse aid.

Noreen Fazalrabi, 37, said: "The men are stronger than us and beat us to take all the food."

Ishrat Auronzah, 72, added: "I am old and weak, when the aid trucks arrive the men beat me to keep me away.

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