from Follow the Money

Earthquake Aid to Pakistan

October 26, 2005

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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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