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Rasing Awareness for Pakistan Floods

By Syed Ahad Hussain
On September 28, 2010

The 2010 Pakistan floods, since this past July, have claimed lives of approximately 2.2 million people and is the worst disaster to happen in the country in 80 years. According to an estimate made by the United Nations, more than 21 million people are injured or homeless as a result of the flooding, exceeding the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. At one point, approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater due to the flooding. Over 200 mm (7.88 inches) of rain fell over a 24-hour period, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, leaving 500,000 or more people homeless and four million Pakistanis suffering from food shortages. The United Nation said that, "[s]ix million [of the 14 million affected] are children and three million women of child-bearing age. This is a higher figure than in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami."

"This disaster – Pakistan Floods – is like few the world has ever seen. It requires a response to match", said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who had announced an aid of $460 million for emergency relief; however, he also admitted that the aid is not arriving fast enough. The disaster, caused by the heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan, has caused an extensive damage to the nation's economy, infrastructure and crops, while structural damages are estimated to exceed 4 billion USD, wheat crop damages are estimated to be over 500 million USD and the total economic impact to be as much as 43 billion USD, according to the report by UN.

Whenever any tragedy happens to Pakistan, the government of the country has a history of failing to make the desirable impact. The current and leading government officials continue their Euro Trip, costing millions of rupees of the treasury in such hard times, when the country needs money more than ever. This is a clear example of recent white-collar corruption in the world. For crying out loud, the governing bodies reportedly used their powers to direct and divert flood water towards densely populated villages to save their own crops and lands. The judiciary of the nation should take immediate steps to inquire and look into the matter. There is nothing a common man can do to stop the government officials from continuing tours.

The frequent delay of the arrival of international aid is probably due to a lack of the international media's response and the coverage of the disaster. Whenever someone is killed or a bomb is detonated in Pakistan, the response of the international media is so overwhelming in order to portray a negative image of the country, and now with the advent of such a horrible natural tragedy, the international media's response is not sufficient and efficient enough.

To make things worse, the powerful and influential feudal warlords and landowners are having a lion's share of the funds by allegedly making fake NGOs to divert funds for their own. How can a human stand, seeing all those people crying so loud for help which grows by every second, leaving them dead and snatching the relief money instead of helping, while being fully capable of helping.

Now that everybody else, including their government, has turned their backs on them, it is the average human's job to stand out to help rebuild the country. Pakistanis now need to be united more than ever before and I personally request every human being of the world, including the students of NEIU, to help and donate as much as they can. Besides money, other items are needed, such as clothes and other household items. The campus' very own Pakistan Students Association (PSA) headed by SGA Senator Wajihaa Mooniis, is currently organizing charity events on campus to raise money, students are encouraged to join and participate. You can also send your donations via Bank of America which has donated about $50,000 through their ‘Save the Children' program. Also, the non-profit website developed exclusively for the disaster,, has several links for the donations. Moreover, you can donate simply by texting the word "SWAT" to 50555. The text will result in a donation of $10 to the UNHCR Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.

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