Why Pakistan Aid is Lagging

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/unicefcanada/4864287206/sizes/l/in/photostream/">UNICEF Canada</a> via Flickr Creative Commons.

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As tens of millions displaced and homeless Pakistanis continue to weather the effects of flooding, donations for flood relief remain sluggish. Pakistan is getting far less in donations (and media attention) than the Haiti earthquake. The flood relief effort has about 2/3 of the funding it needs, the US State Department estimates. According to one Oxfam representative, after 3 weeks the Pakistan effort garnered roughly $230 million committed; Haiti had three times that within 10 days.

BBC surveyed several experts as to why the response to Pakistan is lagging behind that of similar disasters. There were many reasons, among them “donor fatigue” and “terrorism,” but one of the most intriguing was the idea that the floods were simply the “wrong disaster.” As Yale economics professor Dean Karlan told BBC, “sudden events seem to generate more funds… [for Pakistan] there isn’t any one single day in which news is huge… massive and sudden earthquakes or tsunamis draw our immediate attention and shock us.” A Pakistan expert added ominously that the flood’s low fatality rate actually masks the incredible magnitude of the disaster (livestock killed, low food supplies, ruined infrastructure), which will get worse as the year goes on. The whole article is worth a read, you can access it here.

 

 

 

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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