independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Flood aid less than half Haiti donation

THE Government has donated less than half the amount it provided for the Haiti earthquake to the Pakistan flooding disaster.

This is despite the fact that the 20 million people left homeless by the worst monsoon floods to hit Pakistan in 80 years is more than the total affected by the Haiti earthquake and the Asian tsunami put together.

But Junior Minister for Overseas Aid Peter Power said the €750,000 provided to Pakistan so far (compared to €2m for Haiti) was only an "initial amount". He pledged that more aid would be committed in the coming weeks to help provide food, shelter and medication for those affected.

"It's an unfolding disaster; it's happening in slow motion. It's not like the Haiti earthquake where 250,000 people died in a minute or the tsunami, where people were gone in a few minutes," he said.

The State provided €2m to the victims of the Haiti earthquake last January and €18m to the victims of the Asian tsunami in 2004.

Mr Power said the State was now providing €20m annually to a UN emergency response fund, set up after the tsunami.

" Ireland's contribution has been proportionally greater than most other European countries," he said.

The UN said yesterday that relief agencies were having trouble obtaining funds to help millions of Pakistan flood victims because the country suffered from an 'image deficit' after being linked to the Taliban and terrorism.

During the Asian tsunami, Trocaire raised more than €20m from public donations. So far, it has collected €740,000 and is planning a national church collection this weekend to support its emergency work in Pakistan.

Irish Independent

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