Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Even Pakastanis won't give to Pak flood relief

You didn't yet give to the relief effort for the massive, continuing flooding in Pakistan? Neither did your coworker who grew up there and travels there. The government is so corrupt everyone knows money sent will be diverted to personal uses - or to the Taliban. Christian Science Monitor
Many of the Pakistani-Americans who live in ethnically diverse Jackson Heights, Queens, are saddened by the flooding in their homeland and even have relatives among the displaced. But, despite family ties, many aren't giving to the relief effort because they simply don't trust the Pakistani government. “The money might reach a quarter of the people who really need it,” says Mussarat Khan as he leaves a doctor’s office. “The doctor and I were discussing the flood, there is just so much corruption.” Whether the corruption allegations are true or not, perceptions that money would be wasted is one reason relief organizations say contributions for flood victims are way down. “There has been a tepid response, it is down significantly from other disasters of recent times,” says Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, a Glen Rock, N.J., evaluator of charities. “There could be a host of different reasons – from donor fatigue to people not feeling comfortable because of their concerns about terrorism." Mr. Berger says some of the problem could be related to the difficulty of media reaching the flooded areas. But, he says, giving could also be down because people are on summer vacation or simply because of the vast geographical distance between the US and Pakistan. Although some people may not give because of their concerns about corruption, he says those same concerns existed for Haiti, where contributions after January's earthquake far outpaced the rate of giving in the aftermath of Pakistan’s flooding...

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