Remember the Great Flood? Please, Remember.

Posted on February 19, 2011
Filed Under Disasters, Economy & Development, Environment
Total Views: 46376


Adil Najam

The great flood of 2010 seems to have been washed out of our collective memory. It is scarcely mentioned today in our conversations and not at all in a media where every news seems to be ‘breaking news’ except the news that really matters to the lives to real people. This is sad. In fact, it is shameful.

I realized that I too stand guilty to this charge. I did so as I read the news item that the World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a shortfall of $548million in a expected donations and is therefore being forced to end its free food program for flood affectees. Realizing that the waters may have receded, but the misery they brought has not, we at ATP will immediately be making additional contributions to Pakistan flood relief. We hope our readers will too. Here, again, is a list of causes that are (at least were) collecting and distributing resources for this cause:

Relief 4 PakistanDevelopment in Literacy - DILDoctors Without Borders

Here is the full text of the news item regarding the WFP, from The Express Tribune (February 19, 2011):

ISLAMABAD: Facing a shortfall of $548 million in expected donations, the World Food Program (WFP) has suspended its emergency food distribution in areas of Pakistan worst affected by the floods of 2010. The WFP’s already meagre resources were not able to cope with the additional burden of catering to the needs of flood victims in the country. While the organisation launched a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) to deal with many of the internally displaced people’s nutritional needs, it was able to raise only 12 per cent of the $622.7 million it needs to finance the operation.

The agency claims that unless it receives more donations soon, it will be unable to provide life-saving assistance to the many thousands of people that depend on the WFP for their sustenance. The WFP faces an additional burden of being unable to buy food commodities from international markets as countries limit their exports this year after a sharp increase in global food prices.

In order to cope with the difficulty in procurement, the program has launched an alternative to its food distribution scheme. As floodwaters recede and local agricultural commodity markets return to normalcy, the WFP will be handing out cash to flood victims to buy their own food. The organisation already conducted a successful pilot project in Buner in 2010.

The WFP will be handing out the equivalent of the value of its food packages – which comes to Rs5,000 – to flood victims in Nowshera and Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The money will be handed out in the form of cards which can be used at branches of United Bank.

Much of the country has begun to recover from the flooding, leaving the WFP to end its relief efforts in most areas after February. However, parts of Sindh remain submerged and over 600,000 people in Balochistan have still not been able to return to their homes. The people in these areas, coupled with refugees from the conflict in the Mohmand tribal agency, will continue to receive assistance for the next two months.

15 Comments on “Remember the Great Flood? Please, Remember.”

  1. Beena says:
    February 19th, 2011 7:20 pm

    Adil, Thank you for this timely and moving post. I too am guilty. I am also making a donation right now to WFP. If not us, then who?

  2. Asr says:
    February 19th, 2011 7:34 pm

    Yes, it has gone totally out of the news and discussion. And the needs are still great.

  3. Azra says:
    February 19th, 2011 7:50 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I just also donated. Not enough to make a difference to the full total, but at least a token. Would this not be a better cause for corporations than all those world cup ads?

  4. KJ says:
    February 19th, 2011 10:10 pm

    We ourselves need to do the rebuilding of nation. We should not expect any outsider to rebuild our country.

    A very small circle of friends started doing relief work and we have now almost completed the first rehabilitation project in Sujjawal – See the story on

  5. Fareed says:
    February 20th, 2011 10:07 am

    Timely reminder. The political circus grabs our attention as our “mulk dobba jai”

  6. Durrani says:
    February 20th, 2011 10:20 am

    The plight of many effected by the floods is still serious and we should certainly do what ever we can to help Reading this I was also surprised just how quickly this topic faded from the media and everything.

  7. Durrani says:
    February 20th, 2011 1:37 pm

    Adil Najam is nominated for the Azme Alishaan awards. Vote for him there.

  8. Ehtisham says:
    February 20th, 2011 4:36 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. We need it again and again.
    I want to give a little donation and wonder what is best source today. If WFP is leaving then who should we give to right now? Will appreciate advice.

  9. ShahidnUSA says:
    February 20th, 2011 10:19 pm

    I have quietly done my part in helping the flood victims. If that does nt satisfy the ATP, then have a donation drive just like we did in helping the IDPs, I am willing to participate.

    Their could be an another idea of compiling a CD containing the popular demands of the pakistani & Indian music and stories attached to it.Targetting older and yonger audiences. So the sale income from those can also be send to the flood victims.

  10. Rahman says:
    February 20th, 2011 10:28 pm

    The deeper impacts of these disasters often come well after the moment of disaster has passed. Which is why long term support is needed. I too have just donated again. I hope others will too.

  11. Rahman says:
    February 20th, 2011 10:29 pm

    Thank you ATP for reminding us and also for the new donation you have made. You make us proud.

  12. February 20th, 2011 11:55 pm

    I have a collection of few flood pictures of Nowshera. I can share them with Mr Najam if needed.

  13. smssr84 says:
    February 22nd, 2011 7:02 am

    the updated link of Humanity first:

    they are still in the field and workind hard……

  14. February 24th, 2011 8:57 am

    Here is the updated link for Give2Asia’s work supporting flood-affected areas of Pakistan.

  15. Dien Yuen says:
    February 25th, 2011 5:09 am

    Hello Prof. Najam,

    Thank you for including Give2Asia on your list of organizations still working on the Pakistan flood relief efforts. I am pleased to share with you and your readers a quick update of our progress to-date.

    We have granted a total of $140,648 to five organizations working on the ground in Pakistan. These organizations are providing relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts. They include (1) KASHF; (2) SAHFR; (3) Indus Resource Centre; (4) Center for Peace and Development and (5) The Asia Foundation Pakistan.

    In addition, we are still fundraising and working with several prospective donors so we hope to increase our support shortly.

    After the funds have been expended, our grantmaking process requires that grantees report back on the use of the funds. We will then provide a summary report on our website for donors and others who wish to be updated on our work.

    We appreciate the may donors that have supported our efforts thus far but yes, all of us can always do more.

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