Why many Pakistani-Americans aren't sending flood donations home
Many Pakistani-Americans say they are reluctant to donate to Pakistan flood relief efforts because they think their money will only line the pockets of a government they see as corrupt.
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For example, MacSorely says 10 days after the earthquake hit Haiti, there were pledges equal to $495 for each person affected by the disaster. So far, he says there have been pledges of $3 for each person affected by the flooding.Skip to next paragraph
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“In the past there was a lot more media coverage, more government officials and celebrities organizing benefits for those in need,” she says. “We don’t see that now.”
Islamic Relief has raised $2 million in cash and $22 million in donations of food, water, and clothing. But, the charity has now increased its appeal to raise $4 million.
“Our supporters have to dig deep,” says Ms. Ahmed, who adds that this is now the religious period of Ramadan, a time of giving.
Some of that money will come through grass-roots efforts such as one in Plainfield, Ind., where a local mosque will ask its members to give money for flood relief during an Iftar dinner. Iftar is the meal after the day-long Ramadan fast.
Some organizations are hopeful that in the next few days the pace of giving will pick up. For example, the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), which sent six doctors to Pakistan Aug. 14, is sending its members e-mails and appealing on its Facebook page for contributions. By Friday it also plans an appeal on ARY, a Dubai-based digital television station watched by many Pakistanis.
She says there is a desperate need to vaccinate children, to treat wounds, and provide potable drinking water.
Mr. Bukhari recalls giving money for earthquake relief in Pakistan and finding out corrupt officials took a generous amount for themselves. Now, he says, “If you are going to give help, you give it directly to relatives.”
And Mr. Hamid says he would give to only Humanity First, a charity that he knows and trusts. But, so far, he says he hasn’t given. Instead, if he knows a family that needs help, he would prefer to give them money directly.