Quiz Time!

As you may have heard, most of Pakistan is currently underwater. Approximately 20 million people have been affected by the floods, which have been going on for three weeks now. 1600 have died and millions have been displaced from their homes.

Despite the epic scale of the disaster, the response has been slow. As Laura Freschi reports over at Aid Watch (citing an article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy) eleven U.S.-based charities say that they have received only $5 million in donations for the victims of the flood. Contrast this with the $560 million raised in the 2 1/2 weeks following the earthquake in Haiti in January and you might find yourself wondering “what gives?” So I say to you “what gives?” Why the slow / small response?

Vote early and often.

And meanwhile, while you wait for Intern Chris’s WTF Friday post, consider checking out the flood-related content in Changing Up Pakistan’s “WTF List of the Week.” (Hattip to Anil Kalhan)

Kate Cronin-Furman


  1. I think the difference in US private charitable response to Pakistan and Haiti's respective disasters is likely to a large extent just a function of the way our moral intuitions have evolved. Geographically closeness of suffering is significant to us in deciding whether to give aid. (Of course it's just one of a host of factors, but it's an important one.) That kind of nearness-based charity tracked what was really the most moral thing to do quite well when we lived in relatively small groups, with slow, difficult long-distance communication. Nowadays, we are stuck with very powerful village-based moral intuitions that just don't track genuine morality well at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *