Netherlands provides additional US$4 million for Pakistan flood victims

On September 8, 2022, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that it has contributed an additional €4 million (US$4 million) in relief assistance for the victims of severe flooding in Pakistan through the Dutch Relief Alliance and the Red Cross.

CSOs have also expressed concern for the situation, given its magnitude and the Pakistani government's ongoing ban on relief from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs).

A recent article estimated that flooding in Pakistan since June 2022 has affected the lives of 33 million people, with deaths totaling over 1,200. NGOs in Pakistan have experienced difficulty accessing affected populations and locations, citing the near-total flooding of the Sindh province as an example. Likewise, the flooding's impact on agriculture, including damage to Pakistan's second-largest granary and delays to the cotton harvest, have caused extensive consequences for individuals and the export sector.

In addition to the issue's magnitude, most INGOs, including those in the Netherlands, remain unable to offer relief in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif has refused to lift an ongoing ban on INGOs, instead asking high-income countries to donate to his ‘Prime Minister Flood Fund’. Some Pakistani voices have expressed concern over this strategy, noting history has shown that such donated funds rarely reach victims, instead lining corrupt leaders’ pockets. The Pakistani government likewise refused to accept support from the Indian government, citing a tense bilateral relationship.

While Dutch relief organizations have attempted to support local partners in Pakistan, increasing gas prices in the Netherlands are expected to decrease donations from individuals. Moreover, the ongoing nature of the disaster promises further destruction, as rain showers are predicted to overflow a sweet water lake outside of Karachi, which may cause a tsunami to hit the historical town of Sehwan.

Tweet – Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

News article – Nederlands Dagblad (in Dutch)

News article – Nikkei Asia