ICRC claims Pak flood victims' resentment hurting aid effort

Written by: Samyuktha
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Geneva, Sept 3 (ANI): The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that flood victims in Pakistan are "resentful about not getting enough aid" and this may hamper the aid effort.

So in the past eight days, there were two cases when the ICRC had to halt the distribution of relief items "because of the unrest."

"What we are detecting is a very worrying trend of areas where ... people are so in need, so resentful of not getting enough aid, that they turn understandably aggressive and this is bad because it doesn't help in our efforts to reach more of them," the Dawn quoted Jacques de Maio, the head of operations for South Asia for the ICRC as saying.

"We are worried because if this trend extends, propagates," it could hinder the aid effort, he added.

De Maio described the disaster as huge and added that the number of victims is swelling as the waters are flooding lower areas.

"The thing is that due to the sheer magnitude of this and the fact that we are not in for a sprint, we're here for a marathon, we need to make sure that (such unrest) does not become the rule rather than the exception," he said.

De Maio pointed out that an aggressive crowd could make the situation worse.

"If you organise a distribution for 30,000 and in the last 48 hours you have an additional 150,000, then you have a problem, particularly if you have people in the crowd, behind the crowd saying that 'anyway they're useless, anyway they are politicised'," he said.

"Our angle is that we want first to help this 30,000 and see how we can extend what we do," said de Maio.

The ICRC expects to provide relief assistance to around 1.4 million with the next 45 days.

The floods in Pakistan have claimed the lives of over 1600 people. About eight million people are dependent on aid. Reportedly, many of them are going without food or water for days. (ANI)

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