Is Pakistan sinking because of flood water or because of corruption

Islamabad, Pakistan:

Although the UN is working extensively to procure aid for Pakistan, reports emerged last month that less than a quarter of the USD 160 million has actually been dedicated to on-the-ground relief efforts.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis earlier said of the total amount pledged, only USD 38.35 million has been converted into assistance.

“We are still in early days; not enough has been delivered and we need to speed up the response. UN and NGOs have some reserve monies in hand, those are being redirected to respond to emergencies, but there is a limit how much we can do. So use against scale, we need money quickly that can be converted into assistance,” Haneis told newsmen last month, as saying quoted by Dawn.

Responding to possible reports of discrepancy in relief aid in Pakistan, the US State Department on Tuesday said this is something it takes very seriously, not only in Pakistan but anywhere around the world where American taxpayer dollars are implicated.

“This is something we take very seriously, not only in Pakistan but anywhere around the world where American taxpayer dollars are implicated and when there is an urgent humanitarian interest at stake, which is clearly the case, in terms of the response to the flooding in Pakistan,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in response to a question over reports of corruption in Pakistan in US relief aid items.

Price noted that US aid partners work with local organizations that have extensive knowledge about the affected areas and their populations.

“We also are required to provide regular program updates on the progress of activities and any security concerns, and we require them – our partners – to immediately report any potential diversions, seizures, or losses immediately. So this is something we take very seriously,” he said.

Speaking over steps taken to monitor and to ensure that adequate tracking mechanisms in this context, Price said, “First, USAID staff – they make regular trips to monitor our programs in the field. We have what’s called a DART – a Disaster Assistance Response Team – and their members travel to more than 10 flood-affected districts in Balochistan, in Sindh province.”

The US provided nearly USD 56.5 million in flood relief and humanitarian assistance to Pakistan this year as well as an additional USD 10 million in food security assistance, according to State Department.

Pakistan has seen massive floods which have wreaked havoc in the country leading to a great loss of lives and infrastructure. As of September 30, government estimates have recorded nearly 1,700 deaths and more than 12,800 injuries since mid-June.

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