The International Development Committee (IDC) of the British Parliament has called the UK’s financial support for disastrous floods in Pakistan ‘risible’.
The “pathetically small” amount of support provided, according to IDC chair Sarah Champion, made her feel ashamed. She further said that by choosing to take the money out of Pakistan’s current aid, the UK was really doing nothing for Pakistan.
According to Independent, the contribution of up to £1.5 million announced last week, according to IDC chair Sarah Champion in a letter to foreign secretary Liz Truss, equals less than 5p for each individual impacted by the heavy rain that has devastated more than 700,000 homes.
As soon as parliament reconvened on Monday after its summer recess, she requested Ms Truss make an urgent statement regarding the calamity.
The response to the floods, according to Ms Champion, revealed Boris Johnson’s administration policy of continued apathy towards Pakistan, which has dropped from first to seventh in the list of countries receiving bilateral aid from the UK since 2019.
Last week, Lord Ahmad, a minister in the Foreign Office, expressed his thoughts and prayers for the millions of people impacted by the floods that have apparently inundated a third of Pakistan’s territory. “The UK stands with the people of Pakistan during this time of need,” he said.
And on Tuesday, Mr Johnson expressed his deepest sympathies for the Pakistani people, saying, “We have witnessed the destruction there, and it is truly heartbreaking.
“Pakistan is traditionally one of the biggest recipients of UK overseas aid. We will of course make sure that we send a fitting package commensurate with the vital relationship that there is between the UK and Pakistan and people’s natural sympathies with those who have been affected by the floods.”
However, Ms. Champion wrote to Ms Truss in her letter, saying, “Considering the scope and impact of the flooding, I was ashamed to read the government’s declaration of ‘up to £1.5m from the UK’ in humanitarian support on August 27, 2022.”
“Even if the full £1.5m were delivered, it would amount to less than 5p for each person affected.”
“Furthermore, that pathetically small sum will be subtracted from ‘existing support to Pakistan’. The UK government’s risible response to this humanitarian disaster arguably amounts to nothing.”
“However, UK aid funding to Pakistan has been cut dramatically. Pakistan has fallen to seventh in the list of UK bilateral aid recipients since it experienced the largest single decrease in any country budget.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said that Ms Champion’s letter had been received and a response would be made in due course.
It is important to note that Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, previously estimated that the cost of the flood damage could reach $10 billion.
Leave a Reply