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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019


From Column: The UN must brave up to terrorists to get aid to Somalia Opinion This post contains images

Column: The UN must brave up to terrorists to get aid to Somalia

Charity GOAL’s chief executive John O’Shea says that while agencies are trying to help refugees flooding out of Somalia, some four million people are trapped inside and facing death.

From The Daily Fix: Tuesday Daily Fix This post contains videos

The Daily Fix: Tuesday

In today’s fix: Thursday election decision criticised, farewell to Tipperary North and South, and some politicians have a spot of bother with the birds…

From Ireland to give extra €1m in aid to Horn of Africa East Africa

Ireland to give extra €1m in aid to Horn of Africa

Countries in East Africa are in the grip of the worst drought in 60 years, with millions facing starvation.

From US suspends aid to Pakistan military over fears of extremist collusion Pakistan

US suspends aid to Pakistan military over fears of extremist collusion

Some $800million is being withheld as tensions between the ‘war on terror’ allies continue to ratchet up.

From Militants lift aid ban to help Somalia drought victims Drought

Militants lift aid ban to help Somalia drought victims

The powerful Islamist group Al-Shabab had previously placed a ban on aid from non-Muslim agencies to Somalia.

From Irish 'freedom flotilla' ship damaged in port MV Saoirse

Irish 'freedom flotilla' ship damaged in port

Supporters of MV Saoirse mission to Gaza claims damage to boat was “sabotage” and could have put people’s lives at risk.

From Aid sought for farmers affected by E.coli outbreak Germany

Aid sought for farmers affected by E.coli outbreak

The German Chancellor and Spanish Prime Minister have discussed getting aid for farmers affected by the outbreak.

From UN and countries pledge aid and rescue offers to Japan but no decision from Ireland Japan Tsunami

UN and countries pledge aid and rescue offers to Japan but no decision from Ireland

Officials at the Department of the Taoiseach and Department of Foreign Affairs have so far made no official comment on the matter.

From Irish men held on Gaza ship freed Convoy

Irish men held on Gaza ship freed

The two men have been freed by Greek authorities and allowed to leave the country.

From UN: 'Significant progress' in human development Development

UN: 'Significant progress' in human development

However, the UN warns that the gap between rich and poor is widening.

THE UNITED NATIONS recently stated that flooding in Pakistan this summer is the single worst disaster in UN history, admitting that “the number of people affected by the floods is greater than the other three disasters combined.”

Why then has the response been so slow?

Foreign Policy magazine recently highlighted the disparity between US donations for the Haitian earthquake in January, and the floods in Pakistan:

After the Haiti earthquake, about 3.1 million Americans using mobile phones donated $10 each to the Red Cross, raising about $31 million. A similar campaign to raise contributions for Pakistan produced only about $10,000.

So far, only around 50% of the UN target of $459 million aid for Pakistan from foreign donors has materialised.

There may be several reasons why the stream of donations going from the western world to flooded Pakistan has been so slow. considers some of those reasons below:

1. Compassion fatigue

After the terrible earthquake which decimated Haiti earlier this year, are people simply sick of giving money to far-off places affected by natural disaster?

It is something widely suggested, and the collections in churches, shopping centres and libraries which gave so much to Haiti simply have not re-appeared this time.

2. Allegations of terrorism

Pakistan’s national image has been tarnished by links made between the Pakistani government and terrorist organisations.

Pakistan’s President Zardari was enraged at comments made by British Prime Minister David Cameron on a recent trip to India, in which he said: “we cannot tolerate… that this country… is able in any way to promote the export of terror.”

In the simplest terms: people simply don’t want to give if they think the money may end up being used by members of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

3. Pakistan’s nuclear ability

Another sticking point for Pakistan’s international reputation.

Pakistan has had nuclear weapons since 1972 and the US Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that Pakistan has built 24-48 HEU-based nuclear warheads, while Carnegie reports that they have produced 585-800 kg of HEU, enough for 30-55 weapons.

Again, people don’t want to feel like they are funding the Pakistani nuclear programme.

4. Wikileaks Allegations

Seventy-seven thousand mostly-classified US military documents were published on Wikileaks three weeks ago, suggesting ties between Pakistan’s government and the Taliban.

The leaked documents say the US believes the Pakistani government’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has links to the Pakistani Taliban.

The Pakistani government flatly denies the claims, but that still hasn’t stopped public opinion liking them with the Pakistani insurgency.

Mosharraf Zaidi concludes his Foreign Policy with an impassioned plea to ignore all of the above points in light of the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold in Pakistan:

The poor, hungry, and homeless are not an ISI conspiracy to bilk you of your cash. They are a test of your humanity.

Do not follow in the footsteps of the Pakistani elite by failing them. That would be immoral and inhumane. This is a time to ask only one question. And that question is: ‘How can I help?”

The Guardian is reporting that aid is failing to flow to Pakistan.

The US has announced more than $20m in aid for Pakistan, while Ireland has announced half a million in aid.

Fresh flood warnings have also been issued according to The Times of India.

There are warnings of pirate bandits.

The BBC has a diary of the floods in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

IRISH CHARITY Concern is releasing over €500,000 in funds to aid relief efforts in flooded areas of Pakistan. The charity has also begun a €5m appeal to aid rebuilding and disaster relief in the effected areas. It is estimated that over 1,500 people are dead as a result of the worst floods in 80 years.

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