“Global Financial and Economic Crisis, other ongoing global Crisis, Type of Disaster and Limited Media Coverage are main reasons for Sluggish Response by Humanitarian Community”
Leading national and international NGOs representatives, donor organizations and civil society groups have expressed serious concerns over sluggish response of humanitarian community to the devastating disasters caused by floods and heavy rains in Pakistan specially in Sindh this year.
The concern was raised at the roundtable conference arranged by the Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) in Islamabad where participants said that thousands of people were still suffering from the lack of services and their basic needs were not being met in the affected areas because of the sluggish response by Humanitarian Community on one of the biggest disasters of current history.
Donors, representatives of international and national NGOs, aid agencies, and leading figures from civil society, media said that Global Financial and Economic Crisis, other ongoing global Crisis, type of Disaster late Government appeal for international aid and Limited Media Coverage, are main reasons for Sluggish Response by Humanitarian Community.
Ms. Neva Khan, Country Director OGB said, the funding to this disaster has been extremely sluggish, Aid efforts of the UN agencies, the Pakistani civil Society, the government of Pakistan and other humanitarian agencies are under threat as funds are depleting fast and news contributions are not coming in at a rapid pace. To date the UN appeal of $357 million is still only 37% funded. She said, beside Global Financial and Economic Crisis, other ongoing global Crisis, Pakistan faces several problems and challenges, i-e rule of law, problems with corruption, political tensions with neighbors and other countries. She said, we should join hands to support effected people and salute their spirit, their courage, their resilience,
SPO Chief Executive Naseer Memon said, delayed appeal by the government, economic slowdown in Euro zone and US, lack of efficiency and transparency on part of government, like warm coverage by international media are considered as key reasons for the poor response by humanitarian aid community. He said, the government under estimated the scale of disaster and the appeal for international aid came too late when millions were already shelter less.Now, Sluggish response by humanitarian adds community is causing severe stress on relief Activities. He added.
Director, NDMA Mr. Idrees Masud said Pakistan is facing climate change and Sindh has received unexpected rainfall. He said one of the reasons for international sluggish response was massive government response. He said Government has spent more than it spent last year. While talking about late appeal he said government first gathered the data than asked for the donation in certain areas. As Pakistan is prone to face more floods in future we don’t want to waste resources, we want permanent shelters not temporary shelters. He informed the civil society that NDMA has created gender and child cell specially. He said,government has changed disaster in to opportunity and named the given homes to women and used solar system .
Civil society and media from Sindh stressed that bad governance was reason of this disaster. There was disaster with in disaster, media did not give proper coverage, government was not there for relief, they added.