Pakistan floods: responses within and without

A good reflection on the Pakistan floods from Eureka St:

The war weary population of Shangla District in the restive frontier region of northern Pakistan have little time for self pity. Their response to Pakistan’s colossal flood disaster, aptly likened by UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon to a ‘slow motion tsunami’, was decisive, the antithesis of victimhood.

While they warmly accept the staples of relief — food, water and shelter — they know through a history of crippling food insecurity and mass displacement that they are masters of their own destiny. Manfully they clear the roads, reclaim what remains and look to the ‘Rabi’ planting season and the blessings of Islam for comfort and strength.

The statistics are staggering; the swollen Indus River reaching 40 times its capacity, 20 million affected, thousands of villages abandoned then swamped. The asset base of agrarian farmers and livestock herders stripped and scattered from the land.

By all definitions, this flood disaster struck the loudest alarm bell and stirred the loftiest humanitarian compulsion to act. Yet only now, in the decisive period between emergency and recovery, are the gears of the response being engaged…

Read the rest here.

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