'Corrupt' Govt. preventing overseas Pak-Muslims from donating funds for flood victims

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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Washington, Aug.19 (ANI): Despite millions of Pakistanis struggling to battle the devastating floods, and the government's fervent pleas to the international community to rush in more funds to help the victims, many Pakistanis living in the US have stayed away from making any kind of donations, as they believe that their money would be misappropriated by the corrupt government.

A majority of Pakistanis in the US do not trust the Gilani government, and have thereby declined to help their countrymen in need.

"The money might reach a quarter of the people who really need it. The doctor and I were discussing the flood, there is just so much corruption," The Christian Science Monitor quoted one Mussarat Khan, as saying.

Fed up with the response of corrupt officials, donors now believe that it is better to reach out to the affected families directly rather than handing over the money to any government authority

"If you are going to give help, you give it directly to relatives," said Syed Irshad Bukhari, a Pakistani-American news dealer in Manhattan.

The slow response of the donors has worried charity organisations.

"There has been a tepid response, it is down significantly from other disasters of recent times," said Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, an evaluator of charities.

"There could be a host of different reasons - from donor fatigue to people not feeling comfortable because of their concerns about terrorism," Berger added.

Zakat Foundation of America in Chicago, Executive Director Halil Demir also said that donations have been "very slow," with the charity not even raising 20 percent of what it raised to help the Haiti quake victims.

"This is very scary that the message is not getting through," Demir said.

Even the United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over the slow pace of international aid donations for the Pakistan floods, saying the relief being offered is not sufficient to deal with the country's worst disaster.

"The scale of the response is still not commensurate with the scale of the disaster of almost unprecedented magnitude," UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"This is a catastrophe that continues to unfold," Nesirky added, while monsoon rains continue to lash the country.

The UN, which has estimated that nearly 20 million people have been affected by the catastrophe, said the international community has pledged over 460 million dollars, but it still remains short of the target. (ANI)

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