Agnes Pedrero, National Post · Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010
Aid agencies are struggling to get funds for Pakistan flood victims because the country suffers from an “image deficit,” aid agencies said yesterday, even as health officials warned millions of children were at risk of cholera and water-borne diseases.
The international response to the disaster was described as “pitiful” by Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who said many countries had failed to grasp the scale of the catastrophe which has affected up to 20 million people.
Aid officials said one problem was Pakistan’s perceived links with the Taliban and terrorism. Other experts said corruption and aid fatigue were contributing factors.
Elizabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said, “We note often an image deficit with regards to Pakistan among Western public opinion.”
As a result, Pakistan is among countries that are poorly financed, she added.