News / Asia

    IMF Promises $450 Million to Flood Ravaged Pakistan by End of Month

    Pakistani men wade through floodwaters in Sujawal in southern Sindh province, Pakistan, 30 Aug 2010.  Floodwaters have begun to recede in the northwest and central parts of Pakistan.
    Pakistani men wade through floodwaters in Sujawal in southern Sindh province, Pakistan, 30 Aug 2010. Floodwaters have begun to recede in the northwest and central parts of Pakistan.

    Multimedia

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced it will increase its funding for flood-hit Pakistan just as the United Nations warns that international relief aid is lagging significantly. The IMF says it will give Pakistan $450 million in emergency flood aid later this month. The move follows similar increases by the Red Cross and World Bank.  U.N. officials are urging the international community to speed up assistance to Pakistan, where flood victims are beginning to show frustration and resentment at the slow pace of aid.

    As anger and frustration among the flood victims intensify, reports that international aid has slackened raises concerns.  Experts say the situation is a defining moment for Pakistan.  

    "It may force the Pakistani government to actually introduce a taxation policy which could mean that more than one percent Pakistanis pay taxes. I think that you could see some good coming out of this. But it could also be a negative and it is too early to tell, frankly," said Stephen Cohen, a senior South Asia analyst at the Brookings Institution.

    Cohen blames the magnitude of Pakistan's flood damage partly on decades of environmental neglect and deforestation.  He says the country's uncertain future is why neighboring India has been slow to respond.

    "[The Indians] are trying to figure out what the outcome will be. They can't figure out whether this may give a rise to an Islamist government in Pakistan [or] whether it is going to lead to the military coming back to power.  Again I think that is unlikely.  Whether the civilian government will reform and gain coherence, which is happening slowly, but very slowly," added Cohen.

    Pakistan's Retired Army Chief Jehangir Karamat says his real concern is the country's worsening economy and rising food prices.

    "Food inflation is going to be higher, which coupled with the anger on the street and the difficulties that the people are facing could translate into social unrest," said Karamat.

    Key to Pakistan's recovery, says Timothy Lenderking at the U.S. State Department, is convincing the international community of the urgency of the crisis, and the Pakistani government demonstrating greater credibility and transparency.

    "That all this money that the international community is pledging is going to be used effectively, used in the right way.  Pakistanis themselves have a lot of doubts about the way the aid money is being used," noted Timothy Lenderking who heads the Pakistan office at the State Department.

    Other analysts say Pakistan's future depends on President Asif Ali Zardari's government reacting coherently, the Army continuing its support of civilian rule and the international community providing sufficient aid.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora