Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues…

Opinions: Aid To Pakistan; Criteria For Effective Aid

U.S., World Must Mount Better Strategy To Address Flooding In Pakistan

A New York Times editorial about the flooding in Pakistan and the global response to it, cautions: “The world, especially the United States, must not blow this one. We worry it already could be doing that.”

“Washington is doing better than other donors … It should be rallying other countries, as well as private organizations and individuals, to do their fair share. But surely this country, as the richest donor with the greatest strategic interest in Pakistan, could do a lot more right now,” according to the editorial.

“The devastation in Pakistan is likely to worsen as the monsoon rains continue. But even an end to the rains won’t end the emergency. Plans need to be made right now to ensure that next year’s crops are planted. Looming ahead is the enormous challenge of rebuilding Pakistan’s shattered bridges, roads, structures and agricultural and economic base. For now, the humanitarian needs are paramount,” the editorial states. “In some areas, radical Islamic charities have provided shelter and hot meals well before the beleaguered authorities could bring in supplies. This is a battle for hearts and minds. It is one that Pakistan’s government, and the United States, must not lose” (8/17).

International Community Must Aid Flood Relief In ‘Critical Region’

“The one thing that has not come flooding into Pakistan is international aid,” according to a Washington Post editorial, which urges the international community to provide more aid for the floods in Pakistan.

“There is a strategic case for aiding Pakistan in this time of crisis. Timely, generous assistance could improve America’s image in an area of the world where it has been unpopular,” the newspaper observes. “But there’s an even stronger reason to do the right thing, which is that it is the right thing to do.” The editorial notes the U.S. aid contribution so far, but argues that “much more is needed to help the displaced, prevent the spread of disease and rebuild the ravaged areas after the monsoon season ends.”

It concludes: “In the struggle against international terrorism, commitment to this critical region of the world is key. It also is the only humane response” (8/17).

With ‘Narrow’ Goals, ‘Modest’ Expectations, ‘Aid Works’

In a CNN opinion piece – Charles Abugre, regional director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign, based in Nairobi, Kenya – examines the efficacy of development aid in recipient countries.

“Aid can save lives and ameliorate suffering, not just in the short term but in the long term. There is truth in this. Debilitating diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, river blindness or leprosy have been controlled thanks to targeted development aid efforts,” Abugre writes before examining the success of aid in some countries and its ability to promote economic development.

“Aid can help, and does help, but deliberate government policies are necessary to see it decline as a share of national income,” he writes. “Is aid good or bad? That depends on, among others things, the way it is provided, the motives behind it, what it is used for, the domestic policies and interventions to guide it, and the quality of political leadership.” According to Abugre, “aid works when its objectives are narrow and expectations modest” (8/13).

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/KaiserFamFound

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.