U.K. Parliamentary Committee Report Says U.N. Response To Pakistan Floods Was ‘Patchy’

The U.N.’s response to severe flooding in Pakistan was “patchy,” according to a report from the U.K.’s International Development Committee, which also said leadership and humanitarian coordination since the flooding started has been poor, AlertNet reports (Nguyen, 5/10). As of February, about $1.2 billion of the U.N.’s $1.9 billion appeal had been received, according to the report, Reuters writes. Of the money received, only $720 million in aid has been delivered, the report said (5/9).

The committee “said the reaction of the Pakistan government was ‘commendable,’ but that its resources and capacity were dwarfed by the scale of the damage,” AlertNet writes, adding that it “noted that the disaster overwhelmed the international humanitarian community already stretched by the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.”

“Many of the report’s concerns regarding the involvement of the army in delivering aid, which aid workers say blurred the lines between military and humanitarian action, as well as U.N. coordination of clusters – groups responsible for delivering relief in sectors such as health and sanitation – echoed the criticism levelled at the Haiti response,” the news service adds (5/10).  

“While the flood waters have receded, the disaster continues for many,” said Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s secretary of state for international development, Reuters reports. “The international community must step up to the mark to ensure that help continues to get through to those who remain in need,” he said (5/9).

“The report also calls on the Department for International Development and the wider international community to pay greater attention to disaster preparedness and risk reduction as climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters,” a release from the committee states (5/10).

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