As the world’s leaders gathered for a special session of the General Assembly in New York, Oxfam urged the international community to avoid grand gestures and take immediate action to get aid to those affected by the Pakistani floods.
Neva Khan, Oxfam’s Country Director in Pakistan, said:
"This is a make or break time for Pakistan. The international community must acknowledge the scale of what is happening in the country and commit the kind of real aid which is going to make a difference in Pakistan.
“At the same time, governments must follow through on their commitments. This is no time for grand gestures and fine words. Too many times, we have seen governments pledge large sums of money which never materialize. At the Haiti conference in March, donors pledged an impressive $5.3 billion, but only a fraction of this has been delivered. This cannot be allowed to happen this time.
"This flooding has affected more people than the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake put together. Some countries have stepped up to the plate. More are starting to give aid as they recognize the scale of the emergency. But too many are still waiting on the sidelines, doing nothing while the Pakistani people suffer.
“We welcome the news that in the last few days, funding for the emergency relief appeal for $460 million is finally coming through. But the reality is that the UN appeal is utterly out of date. The scale of the disaster - which is worsening every day - means much more money is needed and will be needed if we are going to be able to meet peoples’ basic needs of clean water, sanitation and food.
“Rebuilding the country properly will take years and billions of dollars – and serious commitment on the part of the international community. Pledges made today are a good start but they must be followed by immediate and effective action.”