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Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan

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I've seen surprisingly little in the news about the floods in Pakistan.

Granted, I've been mostly not reading the news this past week. But things were pretty bad there a week ago, and I didn't see much then, either, though it's possible I just missed it.

As of a couple weeks ago, international aid was much lower than usual for a major disaster. Things have improved somewhat since that article (for example, India has now pledged aid), but even so, I'm a little surprised that this isn't getting more attention. The Wikipedia article on Pakistan does not even mention the current flooding.

So how bad is it? Well:

[A]n area the size of Italy [is] now underwater.” (Another source indirectly indicates it's more like half the size of Italy; I don't know which numbers are more reliable. Either way: an enormous area.) More from that article:

The Pakistan government said more than 20 million people have been affected. The U.N. said anywhere from 6 million to 8 million are in serious need of immediate assistance and an estimated 900,000 homes have been completely destroyed. At least 4 million people are now without shelter.

[...] Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, speaking at the U.N., described the situation as a “tsunami in slow motion,” with consequences that are likely to accumulate and grow larger with time.

U.N. aid agencies confirm that while the flood is receding in the north, the mass of water is moving towards the more densely populated south. Far from over, the crisis is actually growing.

The most interesting article I've seen so far is a CBC News opinion piece by Naheed Mustafa, who has family in Pakistan:

Like most people in Pakistan, their money isn't in a savings account, it was invested almost entirely in building their house. Lose the house, you lose everything.


Harvest season was just around the corner when the rains came. So this season's crops are gone. And probably the next two as well. Sugar cane, cotton, wheat—all finished.

(She goes on to provide a bunch of background and discussion of the nation's politics and such. Worth reading, although I should add that a couple of the comments on the article are strongly critical of it.)

So. What can you do to help?

Gogle has a crisis response page with videos, news, a person finder, and a couple of donation links to relevant organizations.

Alternatively, you might be interested in the LJ Help Pakistan group, a fandom auction along the lines of the help_haiti auction earlier this year.

As usual for LJ fandom auctions, people are offering a variety of items and services: fic, art, music, critiques, baked goods, jewelry, etc.

All funds raised will be donated to various aid agencies.

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