I feel a bit uneasy when I hear reports of the recent Pakistan floods. Something is missing. At first I couldn’t pinpoint what it was then, as I heard the CNN reporter for the third time mention that Ban Ki-moon calls this the worst disaster he has seen, it hit me: there is no sympathy. It is being reported in the same sensationalist way you’d report a concert with a record number of viewers.
Whilst the reporter sent to China is crying (which cold-hearted Virgo and I both found very unprofessional), the reporter in Pakistan is speaking with an excitement that makes me uncomfortable. It seems I am not the only one who has noticed the unsympathetic reactions to this massive disaster, last night I briefly heard another report that was trying to investigate why we global citizens are not really reacting to these floods. One of the reasons mentioned was that the death toll is reasonably low (if I had stayed, it seemed they were to tell us this isn’t even true). Meanwhile in an article urging us to make donations to Pakistan’s flood victims, the following is stated:
"The U.N. wants to spotlight the enormity of the disaster, which is bigger than the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and this year's Haiti earthquake, yet has attracted far less in donations."
I think you, like me, might be surprised by this statement, especially considering the amount of support, attention, physical and financial donations and empathy that was given during the tsunami and the Haiti earthquake. It is shocking how little is being done to help this time around. From what I hear, 20% of Pakistan is under water. In a cruel twist of fate, the country being flooded has left many in desperate need of clean drinking water (don’t the powers that be have a twisted sense of humour?).
It’s time to push aside all prejudice about Pakistan as a country of terrorists, suicide bombers, or thoughts like ’they’re so used to suffering anyway’, ‘no whites/blacks/Christians are injured’, whatever it is that is blocking the outpouring of sympathy that would usually flow after a natural disaster. If you can, give, possibly to Save the Children here, or if in Sweden, follow these instructions:
"Barn i Pakistan behöver vatten, medicin och skydd nu! Många dör varje dag. Du kan vara med och rädda liv för en liten slant. Smsa BARN till 72950 och ge 200 kr. Sänd gärna vidare! Mvh Rädda Barnen"
And of course, if cash no dey, a little prayer doesn't cost a thing!