For Immediate Release
Pakistan Floods: Mega Disaster Needs Mega Response
Country Drowning but Funding Slow Compared with Responses to Other Crises
a mega disaster and the world needs to mount a mega response to ensure
the millions affected get the help they need, international aid agency
Oxfam said today as it called for a "gear shift" in the response to the
Almost 14 million people are now affected by the floods in Pakistan
according to latest figures, and that number is likely to increase with
water now surging south into Sindh Province. The UN now describes the
floods as the world's "worst" current disaster but compared with other
recent crises the speed of the response to Pakistan's flooding has been
sluggish. As of 9 August 2010, according to the UN's financial tracking
system, less than $45 million has been committed, plus $91m pledged,
which breaks down to $3.20 committed per flood affected person.
This pales in comparison with the amounts committed to other
crises. Within the first 10 days of the 2005 Pakistan
earthquake, which left some 3.5m people homeless, the international
community had committed $247m and pledged $45m. This works out to $70
committed per person, 10 days into the crisis.
In the first 10
days after Cyclone Nargis, which affected 2.4m when it struck off the
coast of Myanmar, almost $110m was committed (and $109m pledged) in the
first 10 days. This works out at $46 committed per person.
Likewise some $742m was committed to Haiti 10 days after the quake
and $920 million pledged. Some 1.5m were directly affected by the quake,
which works out at $495 per person, in funds committed, in the first 10
Neva Khan, Oxfam country director in Pakistan said:
"The rains are continuing and each hour that passes the
flooding is multiplying misery across the entire country.
Swathes of Pakistan are still under-water and people have seen homes,
shops, schools and crops flattened. The world must not leave these
people stranded. This is a mega disaster and it needs a mega response."
To date only five donors - USA, Australia, UK, Italy and Kuwait -
have committed or pledged more than $5m in new funding in response to
Khan continued: "We have all been shocked by the ferocity and
magnitude of this disaster. Everyone - donors, the UN, aid agencies, the
government - all of us need to shift gear on this crisis. The people
here are living in desperate conditions. This is the biggest disaster in
the world right now and we all need to get behind it."
The UN is setting up a humanitarian coordination center in Islamabad,
and will launch a comprehensive plan for the disaster in the coming
days. The Pakistan government has announced that it will send
delegations to other countries to seek financial support for
Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.