from Follow the Money

Earthquake Aid to Pakistan

October 26, 2005

Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Seems missing, at least by recent standards.   Both private giving and government help from the US and Europe seem far smaller than the outpouring of generosity that followed the tsunami - look at the chart on p. A 17 of the Wall Street Journal, or this Reuters article.   That seems like a mistake to me, or at least an opportunity missed.

Obviously, the US is struggling with the consequences of a warmer Gulf of Mexico and the shift in the US population toward hurricane zones.   I am still waiting for a fully developed federal "plan" for rebuilding, and I am sure New Orleans is too.   Financing reconstruction with a diminished tax base ain't gonna be easy.

But donor and disaster fatigue are not a great excuse; Pakistan is not exactly a strategically insignificant country in the war v. terrorism.  The Wall Street Journal:

"A thinly stretched international aid machine is sputtering in a politically volatile region.  The aid crunch is unfolding in an area populated with Muslim militants who once received tacit support from the Pakistani government  .... Some analysts say a humanitarian crisis could further inflame sentiment against Western countries that are viewed as coming up short on compassion and cash."

I second Suzanne Nossel.

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