As the primary 'enemy country' in the eyes of most Indians (just as India is, in the eyes of many Pakistanis), this is not very surprising though I am disappointed that main stream sober newspapers like the Hindu have not been more proactive at least in their reportage. However the poor, the homeless and the ravaged (like their counterparts in India) have nothing to do with terrorism, the Taliban, the al-Qaeda, or their many off shoots -- they are just trying to survive this horrific disaster made worse by a completely incompetent civic administration.
The Indian Government, in a remarkable pusillanimous move offered 5 million
rupees dollars (a rupeedollar per homeless!) with some promise of more at a later date. Our Pakistani counterparts in a even more churlish mood, asked the Indian Government to route it through the UN. Surely both countries can rise to the occasion for once and not let our past colour the accessibility of civilian aid. However, overall international aid has also been slow in coming, which some news agencies have attributed to Pakistan's "image deficit".
For those who have been living on Mars and don't know what is happening, you can check here and older stories available on the same page. The BBC has been running a series on Pakistan Floods on TV and the extent of the horror became apparent to me after seeing one of these. Here is a series of special reports from the BBC. The BBC also has a story on why external humanitarian assistance has been so tardy (no, terrorism and corruption are only two of many other causes).
Now I come to the main purpose of this post (it was not just to pontificate). Here is a list of donor agencies you can contribute to. If you are worried that your money may fall into the 'wrong' hands, try one of the international agencies like Oxfam . This is what they have to say
Oxfam works closely with partner organizations on the ground, which helps ensure that our response to emergencies like the Pakistan floods is swift, effective, and culturally appropriate. But we conduct careful checks before accepting any local organization as a partner. We have well-developed financial reporting procedures, and we monitor and assess the work we fund to ensure that aid is being delivered in a fair and responsible manner. Neither Oxfam nor its partners has allowed its resources to be diverted to extremist organizations.I have not been able to find any Indian agencies involved in this. If you do know of one, please let me know -- it would be easier to contribute to those. But I suspect Indian aid agencies would have trouble getting visas to go to Pakistan for relief work.
There is now a Wikipedia page on the Pakistan Floods but it may not reflect the latest situation.
The Indian Government has commendably now hiked the aid to 25 million dollars, making it next only to the US and UK. Let us hope it actually reaches those for whom it is meant. Wonder what happened to all those oil-rich sheikdoms?