Friday, 13 August 2010

Aid to the distressed.

Today's Independent has a front page querying why there has been such a slow response to appeals for charitable aid in Pakistan. Two possible causes are suggested. One would be the Prime Minister's speech accusing the Pakistani Secret Service of supporting the Taliban whilst allegedly fighting them, the other "compassion fatigue". Whilst there may be an element of truth in the former, I suspect there is something a shade more venal at work than compassion fatigue. I suspect that the General Public look at their small business running Pakistani neighbours and rather assume that they will be sending generous aid via Islamic charities which means they don't have to bother so much - unlike Haiti. Not so much compassion fatigue, as an assumption that "they will look after their own"


  1. Wow. A veritable brace of Chinese porn spam. You must feel blessed. Or not.

    We do rather have the superiority of zakat over "mere Christian charity" endlessly preached at us, as well as Western aid workers being expelled or killed. Which sort of sours you to the whole thing. It is not necessarily gratitude that people want - perhaps they just want less resentment with the pleading?

    Of course, the Pakistani government might just divert some of their nuclear weapons programme money into looking after their people or even try to stem the endemic corruption that afflicts aid programmes in that region (not just their problem - but exacerbated by them.)

    You see, even if the Indefensible can't, that there can be more reasons than 'islamophobia' (which it isn't anyway because the ISI do support the Taliban - Cameron's statement was impolitic not incorrect) or "wait a minute, didn't we do this a couple of years ago? Haven't they done anything since then?" reaction.

    But then this sort of cynical reaction is why I rarely give directly - preferring to give to and therefore via the church. So the giving decision isn't taken by someone who looks at every situation expecting veniality and incompetence.

  2. I have wondered the same thing in re: Pakistan. People are people... and when they're in need, they're in need no matter what the geo-political-theological nonsense in the region. I saw a report that the U.S. Army is making an effort to bring supplies to the Pakistani people not only because it's the humanitarian thing to do but because it is necessary PR. We haven't exactly "played nice" in that part of the world (understatement!), and we need to show that we are DO care for the welfare of people.

  3. Well if anyone happens to be free and in Dumbarton this Saturday (21st) proceeds from St Aug's Coffee Morning will be going to the Pakistan flood appeal.

  4. John, I think you should set up Blogger's spam filter and approve all comments.
    When I'm at work I search for your blog on Google & your blog is listed on: ( It is one of the first links.)

    There are lots of people who love to post dodgy comments to create a link to illicit websites.