Humanitarian group asks Pakistan to declare emergency to help flood victims

Islamabad, Pakistan , August 13, 2010
Humanitarian organization Press for Peace (PFP) has urged government of Pakistan to declare emergency in the country to cope the recent floods by mobilizing international community on war footing.
“A large number of populations would be affected by unhygienic livelihood, shelter, water-borne diseases and other post-disaster epidemics, if victims are not provided urgent help.”
None -governmental organization Press for Peace (PFP) said in a statement on Saturday.
Declaring Pakistan recent flood as larger than the combined effects of three worst natural disasters, the UN has warned that more flood surges may on the way.
Aid agencies are struggling to help 14 million people of Pakistan affected by the floods, which killed more than 1600 people and affected an estimated 1.7 million acres (nearly 700,000 hectares) of agricultural land.
Press for Peace(PFP) observed that one of the major reasons of tight-fisted response to the Pakistan flood is corrupt and inefficient government functionaries which already have diverted more than £300 million in foreign aid for victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake to other causes.
“Pakistani government has failed to help millions of victims of recent floods because of incompetent management, outdated administrative mechanism and unreliable leadership,” it added.
It said Pakistan government functionaries have to ensure transparency, efficiency and good governance to attract the attention and sustain the confidence of foreign donors”.
Referring to Kashmir earthquake and Swat operation, the PFP statement said that such disasters were profound reminder for the government to improve its capacity to handle natural disasters; however, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other relevant public bodies have turned into employment bureaus for the ruling class and hubs of malfunctioning, favoritism and embezzlement.
(The writer could be contacted at: zafar@pressforpeace.org.uk)