AND OF COURSE THE CBC GIVES THEM CENTRE STAGE TO DEMAND THEIR JIZYAH PAYMENTS UNDER THE GUISE OF ‘CHARITY’…MS. AYED IS APPARENTLY BEWILDERED AT CANADA’S RELUCTANCE TO GIVE, GIVE, GIVE TO PAKISTAN…COULDN’T BE BECAUSE THE LAST TIME WE GAVE, GAVE, GAVE, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SUDDENLY ‘DISAPPEARED’..COULDN’T BE BECAUSE CANADIANS ARE ALREADY AWARE OF THE TERRORISTS PAKISTAN EXPORTS GLOBALLY, COULDN’T BE THAT CANADIANS ARE AWARE THAT ‘AID’ MONEY IS LINING THE POCKETS OF THOSE IT WAS NEVER INTENDED FOR, COULDN’T BE THAT CANADIANS KNOW PAKISTAN USES SAID MONEY FOR WEAPONS, BOMBS, AND ANY OTHER MATERIALS NEEDED TO TERRORIZE THE KUFFAR??
Why aren’t we more generous with Pakistan?
Last Updated: Monday, October 4, 2010 | 3:27 PM ET
By Nahlah Ayed CBC News
“The need in Pakistan is still so great,” said the Humanitarian Coalition, just last Saturday, Oct. 2, in bold print. “Last chance for your dollar-for-dollar match.”
Thousands of Canadians have already donated to what the UN calls the worst humanitarian disaster in its history.
But an informal CBC survey of large Canadian charities suggests the overall response here — though welcome, they say — barely reflects the gravity of the situation.
It has been this way almost from the start.
Ottawa announced the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund on August 22, promising to match every dollar donated to registered Canadian charities from August 2 to September 12. The promise came nearly a month after the floods started, and after a letter from Canadian aid groups encouraging the creation of just such a matching program.
The announcement led to a spike in donations. Still, they were trickling in at a fraction of what similar programs had seen in the past.
Certain that part of the problem was timing — the humanitarian tragedy had unfolded slowly in the waning days of summer — Ottawa extended the deadline to October 3. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Twitter account duly announced that he, too, had donated and encouraged Canadians to “give generously.”
But with the program now over — and as millions of Pakistanis face the coming winter without proper shelter — the Canadian Pakistan Flood Relief Fund is poised to offer what looks to be a fairly modest contribution to an effort the UN says will require $2 billion, its largest disaster appeal ever.
Our survey, which included the Canadian Red Cross, Plan Canada, World Vision, and the Humanitarian Coalition, which combines Care Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Quebec and Save the Children Canada, yielded a total of approximately $20 million eligible for government matching as of last week.
The final amount will be higher when all charities report. But barring some unexpected, last-minute jump in donations over the weekend, the federal government will put an equivalent $20 million into the flood relief fund, a far cry from the more than $113 million in donor-matching funds, on top of other, more direct aid, that Ottawa contributed to the Haiti relief effort.
Competing for funds
When it comes to Pakistan flood relief, the Canadian government contribution, like that of many other Western countries, has been relatively muted. In Canada’s case, a total of $40.5 million so far.
What’s more, $7.5 million of that, announced by Minister Bev Oda in Pakistan last month, was actually an advance on the donations-matching fund that just expired, according to officials at the Canadian International Development Agency.
Some of that money went to relief efforts by the Canadian Red Cross and Global Medic, both Canadian charities. But the lion’s share ($4.5 million) went to the UN’s World Food Program, a decision that has raised eyebrows among Canadian charities.
The WFP is a respected international organization in which CIDA clearly has confidence. But Canadian charities, whose fundraising efforts made the matching fund possible, MUST apply to CIDA for a share of the money that they helped raise.
Most say they have no problem with applying — they agree the best relief efforts should be funded. Still, they are troubled by the optics of Ottawa using a matching program driven by Canadian charities to fund a non-Canadian one.
“They have other money to give to the WFP,” Care Canada president Kevin McCort said in a telephone interview. “We respect their right to do that. But Canadian people still have the expectation that they’re supporting Canadian NGOs.”
Why the hesitation?
The bigger question here is why Canada — and the world — have been so out of step with the need in Pakistan. Why has the response been so different from, say, that to Haiti’s earthquake?
Some say the slow unfolding of the flood did not motivate people the same way as the sudden calamity that hit Haiti. Perhaps there’s also an element of what has been called donor fatigue.
We also “don’t understand enough about Pakistan,” Rahul Singh, head of Canada’s Global Medic, told me last month in Shakirpur, Pakistan, where his group had just set up a water purification unit.
“We don’t interact with them, we don’t play hockey against them. We don’t know enough about this part of the world.”
But is there more to this than a lack of familiarity? Negative perceptions, perhaps? Even Islamophobia?
Comments on websites have suggested as much, as well as routinely raising the spectre of Muslim extremism, Pakistani government corruption and anti-Western sentiment when it comes to helping Pakistan.
“Why donate to a country that is corrupt, harbours tons of Talibans and wouldn’t even help Canada?” asked one commenter on a CBC story. Why, indeed?
But aid organizations maintain that such arguments are a fallacy even if the charges were true: Because money donated to them avoids Pakistan officialdom entirely.
“If we ever feel we can’t deliver the assistance, then we stop the program,” says McCort. “These are civilians who have been affected, and it’s civilians who are helping.”
Singh concurs: “What you have to understand is that the people who are affected out here, they’re not the rich, they’re not anti-Western people. They’re just the poorest of the poor, and they really need help.”
In case you wondered, even without the government’s matching program, Canadian organizations are still accepting donations.