The government of Pakistan has admitted to being overwhelmed by the floods and earlier this week the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the country could not cope on its own. There has also been a backlash against the civilian government over failures to provide adequate food, water and sanitation and particularly President Asif Ali Zardari’s failure to cut short a visit to Europe. (According to press reports, the President donated PKR 334,115,130 (US$ 3,902,758) of his own money to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund – total contributions to which had reached PKR120,385,081 (US$1,406,039) by 17 August).
Yet if you read below the criticisms you see that reports also point out the response that originates domestically.
In addition to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund 2010, the Pakistan National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), based in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, is managing a National Disaster Management Fund while also coordinating the rescue and relief operations. The Pakistan military has been spearheading relief efforts on behalf of the Pakistani government with helicopters rescuing stranded people and distributing provisions including food (ready to eat) and medicines to displaced persons and the navy has played its part in reaching those affected too.
Meanwhile examples of businesses and individuals responding to the crisis include Telenor Pakistan (a mobile phone service provider), which pledged PKR 100 million (US$1.2 million) to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which donated PKR 11,420,000 (US$ 133,396) to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund raised from individual contributions from the PCB Chairman, all PCB staff and national team players. Flood relief accounts have also been opened in UK-based Pakistani banks to enable people to deposit donations.
We are monitoring Pakistan’s flood response and will post more in due course.