On Pakistan

Three weeks ago, flooding started in Pakistan, killing over 1,500 people and affecting millions of people so far. Articles say that about 1/5 of Pakistan is under water. And yet, despite the dire need of funds, there has been a slow response to this disaster. There has been a lot of discussion about this so far and I (sort of) understand the issues but we all still need to dig deep and help out as much as we can.

“Donor fatigue” is being called out as yet another reason many are not able to donate as much as they want/should since a massive effort was undertaken to help out Haiti after the earthquake hit there in January. I understand this reason, really I do, but for those of us who can spare some money in these tough economic times, even a few dollars would go a long way.

Google has set up a Crisis Response page for Pakistan with news articles and relief agency information. I really recommend Islamic Relief, a Four Star Charity that helps out with all international disasters. They were actually one of the first relief organizations to make it to Haiti after the earthquake. Also, by texting SWAT to 50555, you can instantly send a $10 donation towards Pakistan relief efforts via the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

This is the month of Ramadan when a lot of Muslims pay their Zakat and also try to increase giving sadaqah (charity). I think there is a lot of response from Muslims, especially since there are a lot of us in this country with ties still back to Pakistan. However, this isn’t just about helping out Muslims though. We’re all human beings and I pray that we can all look past any misgivings and help out.

3 thoughts

  1. Pakistan is a nation being tested in so many different ways. The important thing is that we try helping them in anyway possible. The timing could not have come any worse as this time of the year its hot and the temperature soar, plus its the month of Ramadan so fasting is upon them.

  2. The slow response is due to more than donor fatigue. In my analysis, it has to do with what most Westerners associate with Pakistan. Here is the list:

    – Terrorism, Taliban, al Qaeda, extremists, where Osama bin Laden is likely hanging out, where Daniel Pearl was beheaded, Sunni and Shia killing one another, terror plot suspects in the West often being of Pakistani origin (London subway bombing guys, Birmingham doctor, Toronto 13, etc.)
    Media always points to Pakistan as being Afghanistan’s problem

    – Just the fact that it is the Islamic republic of Pakistan and that it is known as an Islamic country will be chilling for many.

    – Benazir Bhutto’s assasination

    -Corruption, every year it is up there with Nigeria.

    – The burqa

    -When the media does cover Pakistan it seldom shows women and girls, the implication being that they are not allowed out in public. Examples, footage of Peshawar or downtown Lahore. The public face of Pakistan is male – and sympathy doesn’t come as readily for males.

    – Clashes between India and Pakistan. For the more well-read, warnings of possible war, conventional or nuclear between the two countries of worsening conflicts over water.

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