An article in today’s leading Asian newspaper the Eastern Eye highlights the praise that The Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has given the government, stating that Britain is leading the way in money pledged for the Pakistan relief effort.
Speaking to the Eastern Eye Mitchell commented:
“I think that anyone who looks at the response will see first and foremost that Britain, always a very strong friend of Pakistan, was first to respond to Pakistan’s hour of need and to respond generously.”
The government has pledged £64 million in aid. Baroness Warsi Conservative Party Chairman and Minister without Portfolio also attended the visit.
Mitchell further added:
“I pay tribute not only to the generosity of people throughout the length and breadth of Britain to helping this awful crisis for Pakistan but also for the work of organisations like Islamic Relief.”
Mitchell made the comments having visited the area of Nowshera with Baroness Warsi.
While Britain may have taken the lead in the amount of aid so far pledged to Pakistan there is widespread concern that the conditions, in much of Pakistan, will only make the likelihood of famine and disease widespread.
Pakistan needs aid and needs it now; we can only hope that the lack of coverage in the immediate aftermath of the flood will not be a reflection of Western governments’ intentions to not come to Pakistan’s aid.
The lackluster response to the situation on the ground in Haiti is a harsh reminder that a slow response to a deepening crisis cost lives and can seriously halt the progress of rebuilding the infrastructure of a country.
While Haiti was experiencing economic difficulty before the earthquake that struck, without immediate and continuing aid Pakistan is in real danger of suffering long term.
The death toll so far stands at more than 1,600 and the number of those injured is approximately 2,500.
Donations for the Pakistan flood appeal can be made by clicking here.
Please give all you can.
By Richard Sudan