Pakistan flood aid: millions pledged, but it's still not enough
Pakistan flood aid is nowhere near the billions needed to deal with a calamity that's swept through Pakistan, wiped out crops in the agricultural heartland, and affected some 20 million people.
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According to the latest figures from Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority, the United States heads the list of donors with $76 million in cash, plus goods and services that are said to be worth another $11 million. Great Britain is No. 2, with $50 million. China, which is popular in Pakistan, has offered $9 million.Skip to next paragraph
There has been criticism of Muslim countries not giving enough, which seems to have stung some to reach into their pockets. Saudi Arabia has delivered $44 million, while Turkey is to give $11 million.
Many energy-rich Middle Eastern countries are being less than generous, however. Qatar has pledged just $400,000. Pakistan's neighbor to the west, Iran, is giving $800,000, while the United Arab Emirates has no pledge that the Pakistani authorities have recorded.
"The people of Pakistan will see that when the crisis hits, it's not the Chinese, it's not the Iranians, it's not other countries, it's not the EU. It's the US that always leads," Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said last week on PBS's "The Charlie Rose Show."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a special UN General Assembly session Thursday to push for more aid. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is due to arrive in Pakistan later this week. to assess the situation for himself
In addition to the cash, the US has 19 helicopters ferrying relief goods and rescuing an estimated 3,500 people. Pakistan continues to fight Taliban insurgents in its northwest, though some 60,000 troops have been deployed to deal with the floods.
"We don't know what impact it's having on the insurgents," the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, told a news briefing Tuesday in Islamabad.
(Shah is a McClatchy special correspondent.)