Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Asian Development Bank pledges aid to Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced today that it will give $2 billion to Pakistan in order to deal with the catastrophic floods that have devastated the country. This news provides hope in the face of what is being called the worst natural disaster in UN history. With 20 million people impacted so far, the floods have already reached a scale larger than that of the 2004 Asian tsunami and this year's Haitian earthquake combined.

The UN launched an appeal to the international community for $460 million of aid, and as of yesterday, only half had been received. The much-needed support from the ADB came at a time when many countries were hesitant to increase their aid, due to feelings of "fatigue" in the face of yet another natural disaster and the global economic slump.

Although the UN's target has been met, many feel that the United States should be doing more. While Senator John Kerry said the US will increase aid from $90 million to $150 million, according to Michael Jordan paid more than that to his ex-wife in a divorce settlement. A large scale humanitarian effort on the part of the United States would not only help millions in need, but could also be important in terms of national security and foreign policy.

-Devynn Patterson