Mon Aug 16, 1:30 pm ET

One-fifth of Pakistan under water as flooding disaster continues

By Liz Goodwin

One-fifth of Pakistan is still under water after three weeks of devastating flooding, and as many as 6 million affected people have not yet received any relief, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority told CNN.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday from Pakistan that the flood disaster is the worst he's ever seen, characterizing the destruction as more dire than that caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Pakistani earthquake. Ban urged the international community to send more relief funds to the area; the country now has just $93 million of the estimated $460 million needed to provide flood relief.

About one in 10 Pakistanis — 20 million people altogether — have been affected by the flooding, according to estimates from the Pakistani government. About 1,500 people are feared dead, and at least 2 million are homeless, according to U.N. estimates. The country's most populous province, Punjab, was also one of the worst-hit areas. Relief agencies and the government are still tallying damage to millions of acres of farms.

Now, experts worry about disease spreading. Up to 3.5 million children are at risk for dysentery and other diseases caused by drinking dirty water, warned the United Nations. The U.N. is also worried that a cholera epidemic could spread, as a few cases have already been detected and many villages have no health care.

Ban said the recovery may take billions of dollars in the long term, but so far the U.N. is calling for less than half a billion in relief. Fundraising has been sluggish, charities told Dawn News. The country is promised $212 million in committed pledges and another $140 million in uncommitted pledges has been raised, according to ReliefWeb, which tracks relief funds. The United States has led the effort, pledging  more than $70 million.

"These unprecedented floods demand unprecedented assistance," Ban said, according to the U.N. "The flood waves must be matched with waves of global support."

The 2004 tsunami claimed more than 200,000 lives and displaced 2 million people, according to the Heritage Foundation. Donors gave more than $13 billion in aid to help the disaster's victims. In Pakistan's disaster, the death toll right now is relatively low, which may be one reason the international community has been slower to donate.

Flood survivors are angry at being left without relief for weeks. Hundreds of Pakistani flood victims blocked traffic on a major highway today, demanding faster relief and blaming the government for leaving them without aid, Reuters reported. "They are throwing packets of food to us like we are dogs. They are making people fight for these packets," protester Kalu Mangiani told the Associated Press. On Sunday, hundreds of demonstrators in the Punjab province yelled "down with the government," and burned tires, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi says he worries the flooding may create unwelcome political fallout as well: By displacing populations and destabilizing the basis of the local economy in many settlements, the disaster could be a recruiting boon for insurgents.

"If we do not get the help I am worried," Qureshi  told the BBC. "I am worried because millions would starve. ... People who want to create mischief will get room to step in. And we want to make sure we do not create a vacuum for them to fill."

(Photo at top: AP/ Flooding survivors fight for relief food.)

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6,607 Comments

  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    sudhir 7 hours ago Report Abuse
    Allah has send paigam to pak that they will be wiped from map of the world and land will occupied by indians and all criminal and gandoos will be send to pak to discover one more pak because soil of pak is fertile for criminal again cycle will go on.

    Jay Hind
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Errol Sun Aug 22, 2010 06:38 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants. And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the LORD has spoken this word. The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
    ~Isaiah 24:1-6 (NASB)
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Richard Skinner Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:20 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Why are we turning this disaster into some sort of religious competition, no wonder there is so much hate in the word, now is the time to be one, give from the hart, maybe you will feel a bit less like judging and more spiritual, why it could be the perfect time to turn away from our differences.
    Oh and some people and countries have more money than others, so how do you judge the most generous? Unless you just like to point sticks, enough of this anger.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Hina Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:58 pm PDT Report Abuse
    WhoEver said Muslims dnt give money! Who has helped your almost bankrupt companies like citibank recover? ARABS! Yes the oil rich Arabs.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    David Thu Aug 19, 2010 08:12 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Considering Pakistan long history off hating the rest of the world it's really no surprise that no one is willing to help them. The lawlessness of the land would make it very unsafe for U.N. workers. Personally I think they should be on their own on this.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    Shilpa Wed Aug 18, 2010 02:55 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Hpe god showers his blessing on the victims and provide them with food and shelter...
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Fsxcpgmm Kjkjkl Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:32 am PDT Report Abuse
    This is the right time for Baluch people to over throw the Pakistani Govt.
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Fsxcpgmm Kjkjkl Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:28 am PDT Report Abuse
    Pakistanies need to have their own Bastille day. They need to take their pitch forks and stom the Army HQ and ISI HQ in Rawalpindi and give them the French Revolution treatement.

    Until and unless the Pakistanis do that for themselves, their station is not gonna improve. There are no free lunch in this world. You gotta earn it.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Fsxcpgmm Kjkjkl Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:26 am PDT Report Abuse
    There is plenty of money for the flood victims. A Little planning and a little reallocation of funds can solve this crisis.

    1) A.Q.Khans (The terrorist nuclear proliferator) amazing fortunes when he sold nuke technology to N.Korea, Libya, Iran and AQ. He now lives in a palace at Rawalpindi. He is worth close to $100 million

    2) The Pakistani Generals, Cols and Brigadiers who are automatically allocated 100 acres each of arable rich fertile and mineral rich land (albeit a little wet momentarily) of Pakistan and Baluchistan

    3) The Part of Kashmir that was never yours to begin with that you gave away to China. Thats worth a lot. So China can now pony up for those stolen property.

    4) All those bits and pieces of donations these flood victims have been giving to the Talibans to kill Sufies, Ahmedies, Baluchs, Hindus and Westerners. That must have piled up to a tidy sum by now.

    5) The Blackmailed money that the US gave Pakistan ISI/Armed forces (approx $20Billion)

    6) That $5 Billion tucked away to buy 15 F-16s

    7) The money to procure 2 nuclear plant from China

    8) The special fund (a Big budget of the Pakistan GDP) to terrorize India.

    9) Musharraf's lecture tour in Dubai and book signing advance = $10 million

    10) Profit from all the water beds that are being sold in ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN.

    Add em all up. Each flood victim can now get at least $20,000

    There you go.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    B Wed Aug 18, 2010 07:30 am PDT Report Abuse
    The US has always been the most generous country in the world. We have always been the first to give money and humanitarian aid. However, you never hear about the oil rich Muslim countries helping anyone, even other Muslim countries. How come everyone demonizes America except when they need our help? How many times are we supposed to accept their contempt and still be expected to give them help? Frankly I'm tired of this game. Let Saudi Arabia and all the other wealthy Muslim countries take care of this one, or are Muslims only motivated when they think seventy virgins are waiting for them?

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