Thursday, 12 August 2010

Compassion Fatigue…

Oxfam says that substantially less has been pledged to flood relief effort than for previous disasters.

The international response to the flood disaster in Pakistan has been slow and ungenerous, compared with other relief efforts, according to Oxfam.
Hmm, I wonder why that might be?
The leading aid agency said that, as of 9 August, governments had committed less than $45m, with an additional $91m pledged.

Despite the huge scale of the disaster, which has affected 14 million people and killed at least 1,600, this is substantially less than the amount of money pledged for other disasters over a similar time period.
Might it be that all those other disasters were before governments were forced to admit that there's a world-wide recession? And that now the voters are getting hit with cuts, they may not look too kindly on ministers making free with their money?
India, Pakistan's historic enemy and close neighbour, has not offered any assistance at all. After the 2005 earthquake, it donated 25 tonnes of food, medicine, tents and blankets.
And what did it get in return?

Gratitude? Why, no, not exactly...
So far, just five countries - Britain, the US, Australia, Italy, and Kuwait - have offered more than $5m assistance.
With the exception of (possibly) Kuwait, none of those are Muslim countries. So how are they helping out their Muslim brothers and sist...

Oh:
The Pakistani Taliban has urged the government to fund relief efforts itself and refuse to accept Western aid money.

23 comments:

NickM said...

My reasons for not giving:

(a) Pakistan is unbelievably corrupt.
(b) The infrastructure is gone.

Therefore...

(c) Aid material will wallow in the docks whilst officials take "administrative" payments.

In general:

(a) People in the West are probably seriously put off by the slaughter of that medical team in Afghanistan.

(b) You are right. I think we are pissed off beyond belief that every time this sort of thing happens in the Islamic world the West has rode in on it's white-charger - Indonesia with the tsunami, Pakistan with the earthquake and done our level best whilst the Islamic world has pissed and moaned about it. Indeed various clerics have seen it as "imperialism".

(c) today marks the turning on of a 2000ft tall clock in Mecca in a bid by the Saudis to shift the prime meridian from Greenwich to Mecca. The enormous clock faces flash 5 times a day to call the faithful to prayer. This can be seen 18 miles away. To call it a vanity project would be an understatement. Yet for all their oil wealth they'd rather do that with it than help their co-religionists in genuine dire need. Of course they would! Then they can blame us.

Basically aid to Islamic countries suffering disasters is damned if you do damned if you don't. Between the two there is nothing to choose except the later path is cheaper.

PS. Guess which government before 9/11 gave the most aid to Afghanistan? Just guess.

Jeff Wood said...

I really feel for the poor buggers whose lives have been disrupted, even ruined or ended by the floods. But..

First, everything Nick says.

Second, Pakistan has the money to develop and run a nuclear weapons programme, so they have the money to help their own people. They can keep body and soul alive until the opportunity comes up to start rebuilding infrastructure, and at that point they can call on the rest of us.

To be even-handed, India has both a nuke and a space programme. Yet I understand they get a lot of aid from Britain. Why should that be?

Trevor said...

I just can't seem to care.

Witterings From Witney said...

Echoing previous comments I would add that whilst having every sympathy for the drowning in Pakistan, the starving in Africa, bankers losing their bonuses etc etc - should we not be helping those of our own country, the limbless and mentally damaged war vets, the widows of those killed, the vulnerable and disabled, etc etc?

Peterloo said...

There are far too many people on this planet as it it.

Cruel though it sounds, I think there needs to be a few more natural disasters, preferably in the Western sphere, to thin us out a bit - a nice meteor strike in Yellowstone would do.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I second every word of what Nick M said.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

What NickM and Mark said.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan is a nuclear power. Big boy's sandpit, big boy's rules...
The place raised corruption to an artform except for sitting with their hands out for baksheesh (and that's just the ones in Rochdale!)
To complare them with their neighbours in India is unfair - to the Indians. Work hard in India and you can make it rich, work hard in Pakistan and you wake up to find you've just married your cousin. So, whist I consider the deathtoll a tragedy, I will not assist until I see them and their "Muslim Brothers" start to help themselves and remember that this is the 21st century and not the 11th.

Nick2 said...

"The international response to the flood disaster in Pakistan has been slow and ungenerous, compared with other relief efforts, according to Oxfam."

How grateful Oxfam are!

Reminds me of a building I worked in owned by a Japanese bank - one Christmas the landlords put a notice up to the tree in reception stating that donations last year had been 'unacceptably low'...
That year I didn't see a single present deposited by an employee next to the tree...

Greencoat said...

Peterloo:
'Cruel though it sounds, I think there needs to be a few more natural disasters, preferably in the Western sphere, to thin us out a bit - a nice meteor strike in Yellowstone would do.'

But Petey, surely it should start right over your house? I mean, we all know that people who moan about 'over-population' always want to be first to go belly-up to save the planet?

Anonymous said...

If anybody asks me for donations for this sort of thing I always tell them that the EU is sorting out my donation on my behalf.

I'm really grateful. Ta.

John said...

I also agree with NickM.

1) I think people are currently very well aware that both the Government and Labour promised to ringfence the international aid budget. That's £7.9bn. I think I'm entitled to say I've already had my donation taken off me in tax.
How much of that pot is going to be donated to this disaster? Presumably as much as the "fuck-all" donation of £20m given to Haiti last year?

2) My second reasoning really is along the lines of "what has Pakistan done for us".
We've been giving them aid money for years, propping up a production line of second rate corrupt Governments, and a majority of thier people openly detest Britain and everything we stand for. Seriously - why the fuck should we help them out? Why?

3) This may be an unpopular point, but the public image of the UK Muslim community isn't exactly great. Images of Luton Muslims hurling abuse at Soldier's parades and so-called Imams spouting hatred of our country, people, religion and way of life doesn't so them any favours.

4) The UK is broke. There is no money left. Deal with it.

hestias altar said...

I agree with nickm it is pointless pouring money and aid into a corrupt non-functioning state. We are already putting huge amounts of aid that we cannot afford and sacrificing our young men in this part of the world.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Where can I send my Silver Iodide donation?

blueknight said...

Do any of them think their God might be angry?

Anonymous said...

The Saudi paymasters who fund their terrorism will, no doubt, rush to their aid.

People in the western world have wised up recently. And the article in the Times urging us to give generously, because after all Pakistan has a large diaspora in the UK who might take violent exception to our failure to stump up, was rather unwise.
Monty

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to say we should throw money at the problem - but their cricket team would drop it all.

I'm actually ashamed that we can't find solutions to these problems and suspect we have no intention to.

JuliaM said...

"To call it a vanity project would be an understatement."

Very true...

"To be even-handed, India has both a nuke and a space programme. Yet I understand they get a lot of aid from Britain. Why should that be?"

Because the people we elect to Parliament are scoundrels who have no more interest in doing what we wish the minute they set foot through the door?

"...should we not be helping those of our own country, the limbless and mentally damaged war vets, the widows of those killed, the vulnerable and disabled, etc etc?"

Charity (true charity, that is, not today's fake kind) begins at home.


"Cruel though it sounds, I think there needs to be a few more natural disasters, preferably in the Western sphere, to thin us out a bit..."

We've had a natural disaster. We just de-elected them, though. But don't worry, I think iDave is angling for the votes of people who think like you do, so there'll be another one along soon.

Oh, and what Greencoat said. You first.

JuliaM said...

"If anybody asks me for donations for this sort of thing I always tell them that the EU is sorting out my donation on my behalf."

Heh! I'll try thst one, if anyone is stupid enough to buttonhole me in the street.

"Do any of them think their God might be angry?"

He does seem to be in a permanent state of pique, given the number of ways he seems to have to afflict his followers...

"I'm tempted to say we should throw money at the problem - but their cricket team would drop it all."

:D

Furor Teutonicus said...

"Do any of them think their God might be angry?"

They should not have buggered up the Buddhas of Bamyan then should they?

Note what has happened SINCE.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Thats how Buddhists can appear so "peaceful". Get some one else to lob the daisy cutters for you.

"Kahma innit"

Lynne said...

Maybe Oxfam should divert the money they spend on fighting non-existant catastrophic global warming to the Pakistani flood victims relief fund?

Likewise Save the Children.

Shug Niggurath said...

For different reasons, but I agree with the Taliban statement. Of course the government of Pakistan should be dealing with it's own flood problems. America gets hit by a hurricane every couple of years, earthquakes in Japan regularly, hell even Chile had their quake without grabbing a wooden bowl and asking for alms.

Seems to be only countries governed along religious grounds and by despots that feel the need for someone else to give them a hand back up.

So it's more than compassion fatigue for me. Stand on your own two feet.

And Peterloo, if you think the world has too many people might I advise you to take the exit sign you see on your road to righteous glory.