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The other day, [livejournal.com profile] springheel_jack was mentioning that LiveJournal's header was hemisphere-centric. Now they have shown they know Australia exists, but it's not like it's the only place in the world that needs help right now. I must say I didn't know about Sri Lanka and Colombia before [personal profile] ironed_orchid posted about it, but then again I'm not paid to write a public newsletter for a corporation. Homework needs to be done.
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Pakistan floods 'heart-wrenching' - UN chief


Seriously, look at that image. That's the whole country map, not a subsection. Everything in blue has been affected. The mountainous areas to the left of the blue part, I suppose, are not very populated.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has described as "heart-wrenching" the destruction he witnessed on a visit to flood-devastated Pakistan.
[...]
The Pakistani government says up to 20 million people have now been affected by the monsoon floods.
[...]
On Wednesday the UN launched a $459m (£294m) appeal for emergency aid for Pakistan. It said that billions of dollars would be needed in the long term.
[...]
Ban Ki-moon and President Zardari flew by helicopter over four districts of Punjab, the province known as this country's bread basket.

Now from the air it looks like a land of sprawling lakes. Valuable crops like sugar cane and wheat are under water. Mud houses are submerged, millions have fled.

The visitors were greeted with loud applause when they visited a relief camp set up by the Pakistan military. It is now home to about 1,000 displaced people.

They cheered when Ban Ki-moon said he hoped they would soon go home.

But their homes are gone and there are millions of Pakistanis facing the same uncertain fate. The UN says not even half are receiving aid.

Give to Médecins Sans Frontières

[personal profile] ironed_orchid has links to more articles
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All of Ontario is flooded. From Ottawa to Thunder Bay, from Toronto to North Bay, most homes have been swept away, all agriculture is ruined for this year and possibly the next year, factories are gone and will take years to rebuild. You're stranded in Toronto with 3 million other people and you can't get to Montréal because the 401 has been washed out in many places, and so have rail links. Lake Ontario now runs up to the bottom of St-Clair hill, but even everything north of there has been washed out.

The Canadian armed forces are air-dropping bottles of water, because everything coming out of taps, where there are taps left and they still work, is brown. Condo owners thought they'd be safe in their towers, but most have been broken into to escape the waters; many are overcrowded. The Canadian armed forces drop loads of water bottles every day, but heavy rain impedes their work. You only had 3 small bottles of water today, and 2 pre-packaged sandwiches. Some of the Muslim friends aren't even as lucky, and have been breaking their Ramadan fast with water only.

In Québec, where already one million Ontarians are taking refuge, food prices have gone through the roof due to the drastically reduced supplies and increased demand. The floods continue and some hydro-electric dams in the region of Saguenay/Lac St-Jean might burst, spreading the devastation to Québec.

Back in Ontario, there are currently 10 million people facing imminent serious health problems if they don't get enough water and/or medication. Water-born diseases are starting to spread among the people that are in refugee camps at various higher ground points throughout the province.

---

That's Pakistan today. The flooded area in Pakistan is nowhere as large as Ontario, but the number of people affected (14 million) is greater than the province's population. The 10 million figure of people in serious risk is quite scary. An update on the current situation: Pakistan's crisis will outlast floods: UN

Two sets of pictures to consider:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/severe_flooding_in_pakistan.html
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/severe_flooding_in_pakistan.html

Donate today: redcross.ca.
Chapati Mystery has links if you live in the USA, and elsewhere.

---

One thing that's bugged me is how the media are complaining that "islamist groups are providing aid to refugees in the devastated areas, gaining influence".

Seriously? The government is utterly failing at providing relief, and you complain that islamist groups are providing aid? Don't worry, they probably can't respond to the demand either anyway. Every person that islamist groups help is someone who won't die. So stop that whining.

---

Ottawa is pledging another $30M, on top of the initial $2M peanut the government came up with.

Hopefully Zardari can skip on his 10% cut this time.

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