International aid for Pakistan lagging - 660 NEWS
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International aid for Pakistan lagging

In the wake of Pakistan’s devastating floods, promised aid from the international community sits at just $460-million.

That pales in comparison to the cash promised after January’s earthquake in Haiti, which topped $5-billion.

That’s left aid groups and the United Nations asking why so much for one disaster, and so little for another?

One political scientist says there are a number of factors playing a part and one of them is time.

The flooding in Pakistan has been going on for nearly a month already, with not much interest from Western media.

The University of Toronto’s Nelson Wiseman tells 660News the fact that the situation has been slowly deteriorating isn’t helping their cause.

“In Haiti, that earthquake happened in an instant, with Katrina it was a matter of two or three days and the damage was essentially done in one day,” he said.  “The (Asian) Tsunami was the same thing, but floods are different.”

He says another major factor, which he finds puzzling, is the lack of funding provided by the large Pakistani community here in Canada.

Wiseman points out while that country does face an image problem when it comes to the West, that shouldn’t be the case among Pakistani-Canadians.

He also says the way politicians in the country have handled the situation looks terrible and has left a bad taste in the mouths of many.

“The President of Pakistan has been out of the country most of the time with an entourage of about 100 people traipsing around Europe, and this calamity wasn’t big enough to bring him back,” he said.  “Now that he is back, he’s leaving tomorrow to go on a visit to Russia.”

Wiseman points out if a similar disaster happened in Canada, there’s no way the prime minister would stay away.

“Even though he himself can’t do very much about it as an individual in terms of shoveling or dispersing aid, symbolically that’s important.”