Ask the Experts : How does the U.S. aid to Pakistan’s compare to other U.S. aid efforts?
Receding floodwaters offer a rare glimmer of clarity after weeks of uncertainty plagued flood-ravaged Pakistan, according to the BBC. Torrential downpours earlier this month leveled infrastructure, set off air and waterborne diseases and left all-encompassing devastation in its wake.
Death tolls are forecasted to climb to more than 1,600 as water and debris clear. The United Nations founded a $460 million fundraising effort in August, drawing charitable donations from international governments and private donors alike, but only one-third of that has been met, according to The New York Times website. To date, the U.S. has issued $200 million in contributions.
Still, years of recovery abound and aid dispersal had, at last count, reached less than two million of the 15 million stranded survivors. The United Nations warned the shortage of aid leaves six million people, mostly children and infants, at risk for lethal diseases borne by dirty water, according to The New York Times website.
The Daily Orange asks the experts, ‘How does the U.S response to Pakistan’s current flood crisis compare to the aid issued by the U.S under natural disasters of similar scale?’
Meet the Expert: Catherine Bertini, professor of practice in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
‘The U.S. response in Pakistan was swift and generous. In addition, I understand that military assets are providing support where feasible. However, the U.S. and all other countries will have to continue to open their pocketbooks with many additional large aid donations over time. Imagine 20 million people impacted — hard to comprehend the scope of this tragedy.’
Meet the Expert: Tamara Chock, assistant professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
‘Overall, the U.S. government has responded effectively — providing emergency aid and committing $200 million to flood assistance. The response from the private sector, however, has been surprisingly slow and limited compared to that in Haiti or in response to the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Part of this may be due to the comparatively limited media coverage of the flood.’
Meet the Expert: Joan Deppa, associate professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
‘One of the really striking things about (that) question is that it raises a related one: How well have the news media covered the story? Normally, when there’s a disaster, media critics weigh in to evaluate the performance of news professionals. So far I haven’t found any such discussion. The U.S. and the world paid much more attention to the Haiti earthquake victims than they appear to be doing with Pakistan. I don’t know why that should be.’
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