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Global concerns erupt after massive corruption in Pakistan's flood relief surfaces
Islamabad: Excessive corruption in relief aid for flood victims in Pakistan has sparked global concerns as the cases of misuse of grafts have been on rise in the South-Asian country.
Both the UN and the US earlier released funds to facilitate flood relief are now worried about graft as the humanitarian aid is unable to reach the victims in the affected provinces, The European Times reported. On charges of corruption, "this is something we take very seriously," US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on October 12. After floods ravaged numerous provinces of Pakistan, leaving behind wreckage, disaster relief was rushed to Pakistan from several nations.
However, governments, relief NGOs, top officials like UN Secretary-General, celebrities, and disaster management experts are concerned over repeated instances of corruption in humanitarian aid for Pakistan floods.
During the floods in 2005, the situation in Pakistan was no different as affected victims only suffered misery. Even today, the story of deeply-rooted corruption is currently at play in tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as the two provinces are the most severely affected by the Pakistan floods.
The ongoing flood relief transparency issue came to light as Transparency International (TI)'s Pakistan unit scaled down the South-Asian country a steep 24 notches in a single year, placing it at 140 out of 161, The European Times reported.
Pakistan has seen massive floods which have wreaked havoc in the country leading to a great loss of lives and infrastructure. As of September 30, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recorded nearly 1,700 deaths and more than 12,800 injuries since mid-June. The highest death rates were recorded in Sindh (747), Balochistan (325), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (307).
More than 2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed and around 7.9 million people are reportedly displaced, including some 598,000 people living in relief camps, according to reports by the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) of the affected provinces.
Estimates indicate that more than 7,000 schools are currently being used to host displaced populations, while an estimated 25,100 schools have been damaged. (ANI)