Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Pakistan floods: Nick Clegg rails at ‘pitiful’ response by international community

A Pakistani flood affected child sleeps at his makeshift tent in Azakhel near Nowshera, Pakistan
A Pakistani flood affected child sleeps at his makeshift tent in Azakhel near Nowshera, Pakistan
SANGI PATAN, PAKISTAN - AUGUST 11: Displaced flood victims exhausted and hungry rest as they wait for a place to go as the flood waters forced them to escape from their homes August 11, 2010 in Sangi Patan, Pakistan. The country's agricultural heartland has been hit hard as rice, corn and wheat fields are flooded creating a massive lake that goes on for many miles. An estimated 13.5 million Pakistanis affected by the worst floods in the country's history are bracing for more destruction as monsoon rains further bloat rivers and streams. Deadly flooding across Pakistan, has claimed the lives of more than 1,600 people and has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes, in what is the country's worst floods since 1929. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images)
A young girl, who is a Pakistani flood survivor, is shown in the Sultan Colony, an refuge encampment, in the Province of Punjab, near the city of Multan, Pakistan. Pakistan is suffering from the worst flooding in 80 years as the army and aid organizations struggle to cope with the scope of the wide spread scale of the disaster which has killed thousands and displaced millions.
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Desperate flood victims scramble during a food distribution by a local Muslim organization offering rice for the hungry survivors over two weeks after the floods started
A Pakistan army helicopter drops relief supplies at a heavily flooded area of Rajanpur, in central Pakistan
A young girl, who is a Pakistani flood survivor, is shown in the Sultan Colony, a refuge encampment
Two young girls, who are Pakistani flood survivors are shown in the Sultan Colony
Internally displaced people effected by the floods rest in the extreme heat in small tented camp
Flood victims run towards the Pakistan Army helicopter to grab aid
A Pakistani mother and her baby are camped out by the edge of the water over two weeks after the floods forced them to flee
A Pakistani mother and her daughters make some tea over a fire, living on the street after the floods forced them to flee
A Pakistani father and his daughter rest on their bed amongst the cattle, living on the street after the floods forced them to flee
Desperate flood victims scramble during a food distribution by a local Muslim organization offering rice for the hungry survivors over two weeks after the floods started
A Pakistani girl sits in a tented camp where some families have taken shelter after their homes were flooded
Floods spread for hundreds of kilometres, as seen from a Pakistan Army helicopter on an aid mission
Stranded people stand on a small strip of road waving to a helicopter before being evacuated by the Pakistan Army as flood waters continue to cause suffering two weeks after flooding began
A farm is submerged and surrounded as floods spread for hundreds of kilometres
A man waves from the roof of a building, surrounded by flood water
Villagers displaced from their homes by flooding sit on their belongings as they evacuate
Villagers displaced from their homes by flooding travel through flood waters on the back of a truck
Exhausted and hungry displaced flood victims rest as they wait for a place to go after the flood waters forced them to escape from their homes
Villagers wade through flood waters after having evacuated their homes
Pakistani flood victim Mohammed Nawaz hangs onto a moving raft as he is rescued by the Pakistan Navy
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flooding continues at a very high level
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Pakistani flood victims get evacuated by the Pakistan Navy on a boat rescue mission as flood waters continue to rise
Villagers displaced from their homes due to flooding walk through flood waters in the village of Baseera on the outskirts of Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan.
Villagers displaced from their home due to flooding lead their livestock through flood waters
Children displaced from their homes by flooding stand near bottles of water donated by roadside motorists
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets children at a camp during his visit to flood-affected areas in Muzaffargarh, central Pakistan
An aerial view of the flooding in the province of Punjab, Pakistan
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, centre, is greeted upon his arrival at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan
A flood survivor in tears as she talks about her home being washed away by heavy flooding
Aid agencies have urged Governments to respond more quickly to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in flood-hit Pakistan
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, centre, shakes hands with officials at his arrival at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (AP)
Flood affected people at a camp for displaced victims in Multan, Pakistan (AP)
A Pakistani villager carries his mother out of heavy flooding in Pakistan
US troops drop food relief for flood-hit people in Kalam, Pakistan
A young Pakistani flood survivor stands outside her makeshift tent, in Charsadda, in Pakistan's northwest (AP)
Vehicles drive through a flooded road in Charsadda, in Pakistan's northwest (AP)
A Pakistani villager rests as his house is submerged by flood water in Ghazi Ghat, Pakistan (AP)
Villagers flee their homes due to heavy flooding in Muzaffargarh, central Pakistan (AP)
A woman takes shelter on higher ground due to flooding in an area of Jaffarabad, Pakistan (AP)
Pakistan will need billions of dollars to recover from the worst floods in history, say the UN
Irish aid teams are on stand-by to assist victims of floods in Pakistan (AP)
Villagers travel to a safer place after leaving the flood-hit area of Muzaffargarh in central Pakistan (AP)
A woman sits in a makeshift tent made from a plastic sheet as rain falls near Pabbi, north west Pakistan (AP)
Pakistan army troops rescue stranded villagers from the floods (AP)
A woman sits in a makeshift tent made from a plastic sheet as rain falls near Pabbi, north west Pakistan (AP)
Victims of the floods wait to be evacuated in Sanawan near Multan in central Pakistan (AP)
Pakistani army soldiers in a helicopter rescue families stranded by flood water in central Pakistan (AP)
Protesters gather in Birmingham during a visit by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
Villagers stranded by floodwater wait to be evacuated in Sanawan near Multan in central Pakistan (AP)
Houses and narrow surrounding are are left amid flooded waters in Kot Addu, Pakistan (AP)
British charities have launched an appeal to raise money for flood-hit Pakistan
Children jostle for relief aid in Peshawar, Pakistan (AP)
Pakistan army soldiers rescue stranded villagers in Dera Ghazi Khan (AP)
Pakistan deployed additional security forces to Karachi after further violence (AP)
An Irish aid agency has launched a worldwide appeal to raise 5 million euro to help the victims of the Pakistan flood disaster. (AP)
People wait to cross a flooded road in Bannu, north-western Pakistan.(AP)
Pakistani Mir Zaman sits on a bed next to his flooded house in Camp Karoona, Pakistan
A woman carries her child through floodwater in Camp Koroona village, Pakistan
A Pakistan army helicopter evacuates stranded villagers in Nowshera
A villager uses an inflated tube to reach his flooded house on the outskirt of Peshawar, Pakistan (AP)
Villagers gather beside their collapsed house caused by monsoon rains in Pakistan (AP)
People use a boat to rescue people after heavy rain fall caused flooding in Pakistan (AP)
Pakistani villagers move to a safe place from a flood hit village near Nowshera, Pakistan
Pakistani villagers move to a safe place from a flood-hit village near Nowshera, Pakistan

The international response to the Pakistan floods has been “absolutely pitiful”, Nick Clegg said yesterday, with the Republic’s contribution so far a mere €750,000.

He was speaking as health officials warned that the death toll from the Pakistan floods will double in the coming weeks as 3.5 million children are exposed to cholera and diarrhoea.

Their forecasts, based on studies of other natural disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, suggest that 1,400 people will die from water-borne infections.

Dr Guido Sabatinelli, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) representative in Pakistan, said aid workers were facing a “second crest” of fatalities.

“This is something that is very, very huge and we are lagging behind in where we need to be in terms of aid,” he said yesterday.

He added that 140,000 cases of cholera and other types of acute diarrhoea were expected in the next three months, of which 1% — or 1,400 — would prove fatal.

Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister also suggested donations from the public may be muted because they were “struggling to understand” the scale of the crisis.

Mr Clegg’s intervention came amid criticism that the international community has been too slow to provide aid for the estimated 20 million left homeless.

Britons have so far given £15m. The UK Government has also earmarked £31.3m in aid, nearly £17m of which has been allocated.

But the response has been lower than in the wake of the Haiti earthquake earlier this year, and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) says more is needed as the situation is deteriorating.

The Irish government has donated less than half the amount it provided for the Haiti earthquake to the Pakistan flooding disaster.

But the Irish junior minister for overseas aid, Peter Power, said the €750,000 (£614,209) provided to Pakistan so far (compared to €2m for Haiti) was only an “initial amount”. He pledged that more aid would be committed.

“It's an unfolding disaster; it's happening in slow motion. It's not like the Haiti earthquake where 250,000 people died in a minute or the tsunami, where people were gone in a few minutes,” he said.

The State provided €2m (£1.64m) to the victims of the Haiti earthquake and €18m to the victims of the Asian tsunami.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the international community to step up their aid pledges after visiting some of the affected areas yesterday, describing it as the worst natural disaster he had ever seen.

“The flooded area is the same size as England,” he said.

>To make a donation, please visit: www.dec.org.uk

>More information about the relief effort available here

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