Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pakistan update in digest form

Here is a roundup of several items of interest concerning the Pakistan flooding. This is now being recognized as that country's worst flooding in over 80 years. Because a lot of the water has yet to recede aid has been slow to reach those affected. The heavy rains that fell upon the already high waters have further lowed progress.

Oxfam says that fund-raising for the people of Pakistan has been slow. Days after the Haiti earthquake there was 495 dollars raised per person affected, so far for Pakistan it's only $70 per person. The International Red Cross put out a reminder of the need in Pakistan via this press release.

The Guardian offers this stunning photo collection of aerial views of the Pakistan floods.

Finally, a look at how the flooding will set back Pakistan's progress on the Millennium Development Goals. Just Means writer Anna Dubuis says the flooding could break the fragile economy in the country.

The flooding, which has so far destroyed around 1.4 million acres of land, will have huge implications for the already fragile economy in Pakistan. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which currently provides an $11.3 billion emergency-funding programme to Pakistan, will play an important role in the country's recovery. The floods will exacerbate chronic problems associated with poverty, and development efforts from international humanitarian organisations and donor governments will no doubt take many steps back. Infrastructure, buildings and land have been destroyed, and aid workers have great concern over outbreaks of water-borne diseases. The full impact and the ramifications of the flooding are not yet known.

Pakistan is one of the signatories that pledged to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Five years prior to this target and this serious flooding may have swept away hopes of achieving this target. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been the centrepiece of the Government of Pakistan's development efforts since they were incorporated into the five-year Medium Term Development Framework in 2005. That framework ends this year. These floods will surely have negated the progress that has been made over the last five years of this programme. To date, however, that progress is low, with only half of the targeted MDG indicators having shown improvements. Many accuse the government of apathy and of lacking the drive that could bounce Pakistan back from the brink.

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