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Pakistan's Flood of Cash

How Aid Made Flood Management Worse

This July, torrential monsoon rains caused widespread flooding in Pakistan. More than 20 million people have been affected (12 percent of the population), at least four million have been left homeless, and nearly 2,000 have died. The tragedy may have dominated headlines, but Pakistan is not the only country to have experienced floods. Benin was also hit by massive floods this year. These historic floods covered two-thirds of the country and affected close to 700,000 people (8 percent of the population) and killed 43. Benin’s government, acting with far fewer resources, outperformed the relief efforts of Pakistan's goverment. Although no one can blame the Pakistani government for bad luck and bad weather, it should have been held accountable for the colossal scale of the devastation. Instead, it has been rewarded.

Speaking at the Asia Society in August, Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative for Pakistan, explained “The water has affected everyone. It's an equal-opportunity disaster."

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