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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2005, 11:41 GMT
Is quake aid 'totally inadequate'?
Collapsed Margala Towers in Islamabad. Sent in by Awais Yaqub

Will the increase in international donations help the reconstruction of Pakistan?

A further $580m (327m) has been pledged following the UN's appeal for victims of the South Asian quake.

The UN maintains too little of these new donations are available for them to combat what Kofi Annan fears will be the "winter without pity".

This follows warnings by UK charity Oxfam that less than 30% of the money sought by the UN had been pledged, and by Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf that aid pledged was "totally inadequate".

Are rich countries doing enough to help? Are you in the areas affected? Is aid getting through to those that need it? What are your experiences of trying to get aid through?

Do you have any images? If so, you can send photos and mobile phone footage to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

We discussed the aftermath of the earthquake on our global phone-in programme, 'Talking Point' on Sunday 9 October. Click on the link to watch the programme.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Kashmir International Relief Fund
Red Cross/ Red Crescent
As a Pakistani American I am ashamed at how the government of Pakistan is pleading for funds. On one hand they are buying billions of dollars of weapon While begging for relief with the other.
Ali Hassan, Denver Colroado USA

People who care about others victimized by natural disasters such as the December tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the South Asian earthquake, send thousands of dollars to NGOs, completely unaware of what is being put to use. For donors' references there should be a process of what exactly happens with monetary contributions, step A through step Z.
Kimberly Mason, New York, US

I think "media" especially in the U.S, has a great impact on the way public reacts to any given disaster. I truly believe that the lack of coverage of the Asian Earthquake coupled with the donor fatigue resulted in far less donations than needed. The governments should help more and not expect citizens to chip in. Also, the governments should realize that natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere, so they should be good players in helping each other out? Regardless of the wealth status of a country.
Aisha, San Francisco

Make an International Fund for rescue and relief
Ibrahim Raja, Jhelum, Pakistan
The natural disasters are getting a day to day thing now. Talking generally why do not we the people of this globe start a combine effort to face the odds of nature, lets move towards a permanent way to tackle them and make an International Fund for rescue and relief, and every man and woman earning the average income must give 2% per annum. That can make a very smooth permanent way to save the innocent lives. Why we ask for money from different governments at the very needy time. Let's do it ourselves.
Ibrahim Raja, Jhelum, Pakistan

The world should respond immediately with all types of aid including temporary relocation.
Gaynor Hulse, Orange New Jersey USA

Pakistan knew from the start their investment for such crises are negligible, but efforts were none but investments in Military and missiles are about 5%. When US offered $3billion it opted for F16 rather than any development. Other countries helping in huge amounts just encourage such behaviour. And does govt. really have right to give money to other countries? After all government itself almost never earns money, it supposed to have sworn to serve its own people. Helping neighbours and friends to a extent makes sense but neighbour must show it's own sincere efforts first.
Rakesh, Boston, US

Judging by the length of time taken for the money to be taken from my account for the Tsunami appeal (eight months) the efficiency of aid operations certainly needs work.
Peter, Dudley

Better media coverage of the disaster helps a lot in getting more and more donations
Sadiq Ali Bohra, Hyderabad, Pakistan
Yes there should be not only one single fund but also an organization which must have specialised in relief for all kind of natural / man-made disasters. Its working should be monitored by UN in the time of the disaster relief effort and, yeah, better media coverage of the disaster helps a lot in getting more and more donations.
Sadiq Ali Bohra, Hyderabad, Pakistan

I went to affected area of earthquake. I went in Distt. BAGH. Everything is destroyed there. You hardly find any building which is not affected by the earthquake. Dead bodies from the buildings are still not discovered, so there is a smell in the city. As rain has begun to fall in the area, this has increased the difficulties for the victims. People have to spent the whole night under the sky in the rain and cold. People all around the world do help and pray for the victims.
Irfan Sadiq, Mirpur Azad Kashmir (Pakistan)

I have just returned from Muzafferabad, after spending the last week there as a member of the British charity SARAID - Search And Rescue In Disasters. The scene is one of severe devastation and hardship, within which we tried to bring a little hope and comfort to those around us. Between SARAID and the other international search teams - Germany, Turkey and Russia to name but a few - we accounted for the rescue of 24 live casualties from the area. This is a very small number compared to those that have perished in the quake but, for some at least, I hope we have provided a very small light in what appears to be an interminably dark tunnel.
Geoff Parkinson, Battle, East Sussex UK

I'm a British Pakistani who happened to be in Lahore for some contracting work. I have just taken a truck full of essential equipment to a remote area in Northern Kashmir where the devastation was at its peak. When leaving here was quite content that I have managed with all the help of my friends and family back in UK, who deposited money, to get a truck full of equipment delivered. But after going to the area, I feel as if we have done nothing. There is so much destruction that you just can't imagine. I am taking another truck this weekend and hopefully joining the logistics team to help co-ordinate relief efforts. What I need is tents water and blankets. The scale of the disaster is beyond belief and the death toll alone will at least double if not more.
Imran Sajid, Manchester, Lahore

This is what happens in most disasters the world has. We are concerned for the first week or so and then we forget them. Anyone who has been to the Northern areas of Pakistan, I am sure understands how this must affect the people there but we, unlike when the tsunami came, don't seem to be giving as much. I wonder why that is? People will die from the cold, it is freezing up there - I know from experience.
Madiha Biabani, Ireland

I am a medical student in Lahore. Although the way our nation has responded to this earthquake is heart warming, I met a couple of young doctors the other day in college who just came back from Kashmir. According to them, relief items are not being delivered to remote, inaccessible areas while the situation in bigger cities is this that people are using bottled mineral water even for washing purpose. Plus there are quite a few gangs operating, in groups of dozens, and are snatching and hoarding whatever they can lay their hands onto.
Haseeb Khan Niazi, Lahore

The world could have done so much more to help the victims of the earthquake
Shoaib Aziz, Detroit, Michigan
I really feel that the world could have done so much more to help the victims of the earthquake. Part of the problem that I have observed is the limited media attention that this disaster got in the US. Even after almost 80,000 fatalities, you would be hard pressed to find any major coverage of this tragedy in the US. I know I have been relying primarily on the BBC and other Pakistani newspaper websites to get the latest information. Perhaps that is why people are so indifferent, at least in the US, to this tragedy since there is no coverage to speak of on TV and other media outlets.
Shoaib Aziz, Detroit, Michigan

The rich countries would be doing more if they had some of their citizens were in the quake affected areas as they were after the tsunami. Right now to them it is just another third world country. The only countries that have helped significantly are the Muslim nations and the United States. If the BBC wants to measure the adequacy of the response all it has to do is link to a two column graphic depicting the requirements against the responses.
Ali Tahir, London, UK

Is it really donor fatigue? Or could the truth be that the world doesn't care enough about that part of the world? I hear my fellow Americans every morning acting like this is just "another" far away disaster. I find it sick. Katrina was terrible but I think a victim is a victim, regardless of colour or ethnicity.
Sam, Washington DC

A country that can hardly feed or clothe its people in the best of times needs strong international support at the worst of times. However, General Mushraff's pleas may be better heard he told us how much of his huge military spend (one the highest in the world as a proportion of government budgets) will be diverted to assist the victims.
Suresh, UK

This is an absolute disgrace, what sort of world are we living in where ability to aid is there but not given.
Alex Kinsman, London

The biggest war/defence budget nation, the United States, should lead the way by pledging its "war budget" to the benefit of its fellow world citizens who are victims and suffering greatly. These natural world disasters are teaching us that we cannot simultaneously destroy and truly help one another... it is time to change our ways.
MM, Seattle, USA

The international community has raised $549 million for the earth quake victims. How many new F16 fighters have now been cancelled to help these poor people rebuild their lives? None I expect.
Alan Richards, UK

Clearly there is not enough aid, but there are a number of reasons for this. The public gave generously to the Tsunami disaster, only to see their efforts wasted, through official bureaucracy and corruption. Undoubtedly the same thing would happen in Pakistan. The USA has suffered from two of the worst hurricanes on record and is understandably concentrating on putting its own house in order.
Chris, Brazil

Those in real need are not really getting the assistance they absolutely need to survive. This is the unfolding tragedy: There is complete 'aid' fatigue and donors are not prepared to go the extra mile to give assistance as there have been far too many catastrophes in such a short period.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium

I am currently in Islamabad, and as soon as the earthquake hit I made it back to my village Jhir Ghaniabad, in district Bagh, close by to Mallot. Not one house is left, 200 people died. The village is still in need of tents and blankets, and more relief goods. The nearby villages of Bhutti, Thub, Bees Bagla still have hundreds of bodies stuck under the rubble and no one to help take them out. The smell of the decaying bodies is unbearable, and risk of disease is growing. We need help!
Robeena Khan, Islamabad, Pakistan

Well, it's time to manage all aid, Government received aid but has no way to manage it, that is how is being spoiled. You can see the bundles of clothes at road sides, getting spoiled due to lack of management, secondly is need of to reach the real affected, as cases of loot have been reported so far.
Omer Bangash, Balakot, Pakistan

I was working in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences as a volunteer and it was really a moment of grief and sorrow to hear from the victims that they could not see any lighthouse in the merciless ocean of life after such a huge disaster
Shahzad Rahim Kakakhel, Islamabad

I am affected only in the respect that my partner is part of a logistics team on behalf of an Aid Agency in the Mansara region, working flat out to distribute aid. He is on a month deployment, but luckily is on daily contact.
Karen, Exeter, UK

My family is living in Rawalakot which is the most effected area from earthquake but still after passing 9 days not a single media team visit my area some relief reached to this area but people are home less such a bad weather government should give money to the home less people to restructure their houses.
Ghafoor, Luton, UK

I live in Karachi, and have been shocked and stunned by the scale of the disaster. The response of the people in Karachi has been stupendous. You can see almost everyone contributing to the relief effort through cash donations, material donations and by blood donations. I am overwhelmed by the response of my countrymen. We need to keep going. However, we badly need helicopters. Please ask your government to divert all helicopters based in Afghanistan to the relief effort.
Adnan Masood, Karachi, Pakistan

I would request people around the globe to denote as generously as possible
Abdul Shakoor, Islamabad
Although the aid and relief operations are underway in Kashmir and NWFP in Pakistan, there are areas still to be reached, and the damage has not been assessed yet. I visited areas further up from Balakot three year ago and saw very scattered population at high altitudes. There were no 'roads' then, only tracks where jeeps could go along. Even I have not heard media reaching there. I would request people around the globe to denote as generously as possible, and try sending material (food, shelter, medicine etc) instead, to address the most urgent needs for survival.
Abdul Shakoor, Islamabad

It was a sad news to hear as I woke up early in the morning to have the preliminary breakfast and fast for the day. I watched a couple of early screenshots on BBC as well GEO TV. The thing that touched me after seeing all this was our leader's first comment on Saturday when he visited the affected area of Islamabad. Mr Musharraf said that it's a test for the nation. It made me full of passion and energy to start collecting funds and relief goods for our loved ones in Pakistan. I feel very proud to announce that myself, and being as the President of International Students Organization at Mountain State University in this remote area of West Virginia, I was able to collect $500-within 24 hours. It's a very big achievement, especially when you are in an area where there is hardly any Pakistani community. May Allah rest their souls in peace for those who have lost their lives in this holy month of Ramadan, and may turn this catastrophic atmosphere into healthy, united, energetic and bold Pakistan once again.
Aquil Mirza, Beckley, West Virginia USA

It is terrifying to think that so many people can die in the span of a few seconds... I would like to say that the BBC's coverage of this natural disaster has been above excellent.
Aristides Garcia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I come from Muzaffarabad. Having to see the city completely destroyed is obviously devastating although a lot of rescue work is being carried out but there is still an area in the main part of Muzaffarabad which was densely populated and has now been totally destroyed. There are still hundreds of people missing from those areas and no aid or other help is available. The other important issue is about taking measures to stop any disease spreading as there are still lots of bodies under the rubble.
Shahida Qureshi, Camden Town, London

I think the BBC are doing a fantastic job of keeping the world informed. I cannot get over what has happened and find it very hard to keep my emotions under control. I have unfortunately lost 27 people on one side of my family who live in Muzaffarabad. My prayers are with Pakistan.
Saima Syed, London

I want to thank the entire international community for helping Pakistan in this time of great stress and disaster. Where ever I went people were praising every single country who is sending aid and assistance to Pakistan. I must say that after seeing the overwhelming support by the international community the respect for all the countries, their people and their governments has doubled, tripled in our hearts. So much so that people are praising president bush of US and Indian prime minister Dr. Manmohan. In the end I would say that if we can put aside our differences and all the world live in peace and harmony.
Salman, Bahawalpur, Pakistan

On every corner of every road there is a help camp
Gulsanga Asad, Islamabad
It's unbelievable that people are helping beyond our expectations. I live in Islamabad and its citizens are going out of the way in order to help the sufferers. On every corner of every road there is a help camp. Trucks are being loaded and every individual is contributing. My university "Iqra" gathered all the basic necessities including blankets, sweaters, medicines, bread, flour, match boxes, water etc. For Kashmiris I'm proud of all the helping people. God bless them. I hope it can help the victims and hope it will encourage the people who have not contributed anything yet.
Gulsanga Asad, Islamabad, Pakistan

We have been in touch with our family in the town of Kotli Azad Kashmir. Thankfully there has been less damage there and our family is safe but surrounding villages (ie Rawalacourt and Bagh) about an hour's drive from Kotli have not been so lucky. Most people are dead or are dying. Relief and aid efforts have not reached these remote villages. Our family and other people from villages around Kotli are trying their best to help their neighbours by taking out essential supplies of food, clothes and medication. We have had collections over here in the UK to help provide these emergency supplies. The victims of this disaster need help now! People that are safe and well need to do their bit to help especially if they have access to these areas. We can not afford to wait for government agencies to arrive with help.
Neher Khan Malik, UK

The response seen in Lahore by the people in contributing to the relief effort now underway is overwhelming. More than a hundred truckloads are leaving for the affected areas in a given day. Many are sceptical as to how much of what they are giving will ever reach the victims, but that is not stopping them from giving away whatever they can.

A poor, veiled woman came to donate 15 Pakistani Rupees at a relief camp that I visited today; another man, looking like a domestic servant brought Rs300. The begums on the other hand came with long lists of donors who had collectively given no less than Rs100,000 or more. The army officer collecting the money he said he had collected over 200,000 in the last couple of hours; five such collection centres are working in Lahore under army supervision round the clock and it's the same everywhere, day or night, I was told. The city and Punjab governments and thousands of organizations have their own collection centres.
Murtaza, Lahore, Pakistan

I lost a friend today at Margalla Towers, Islamabad. He once said his problem was that he "loved people too much". His body was crushed completely up to his neck. They couldn't move him because he was supporting a beam; there were eight survivors underneath. He loved people too much, even in death. Zohair Iqbal, who has been a blessing to all that have known him. Who loved chocolate, and music.
Fatima Rizwi, Islamabad, Pakistan

When me and my little sister heard what had happened we were very shocked, I'm only 13 and I am very upset how something so evil and terrible could happen! I have realities in Islamabad and my cousins are there on holiday, thank God they are OK! Even sitting here reading about this is making me cry, my sympathies all those who have lost love ones in this terrible tragedy and my prayers and love to those who are effected.
Aaliya and Sarah, Walthamstow, London, UK

People are giving more than our expectations
Sonya Anjum Saba, Abbottabad, Pakistan
I am part of the relief campaign. People are giving more than our expectations, although international rescue teams and countries have done a lot still the locals, who are already poor, are contributing. I even saw the beggars donating some from what they had. That was the spirit of people here - to do something for their country. Most of the affected areas which were not getting the aid, are not receiving it. It was late due to the damaged roads and traffic blockage, but the army has worked day and night to clear roads, international teams have worked day and night to save injured and any life there. I would like to request the world through BBC forum to help and donate. We have to think about making homes and settle the ones who are homeless now.
Sonya Anjum Saba, Abbottabad, Pakistan

Pakistan should be given debt relief immediately - money should be spent on homes and hospitals, and the Pakistani Government and friends from overseas should start planning for the reconstruction as soon as possible. Many thanks to all for helping Pakistan at this time. We will not forget your kindness.
Al, London, UK

This is very panicy time for all Pakistan. Thousands of people have lost there beloved ones. People are homeless, a lot of destruction and loss of lives all is very sad. We are not there but we are feeling same pain for them. My friend told me that all of them in Pakistan is very sad, and they are feeling not to do any daily work. They just want to see all that areas again wealthy and happy. We Pakistanis in AIT/Bangkok also collecting funds and our Institute President already has made a fund for this purpose. The reconstruction will take a long time but we have to bravely face this situation and give full support and cooperation to victims of earthquake.
Zeenara , Bangkok

Everyone is feeling the pain of the people in the affected areas and everyone single person I know wants to be able to reach out to them. We urged our mother, who is a doctor to go up north to help, and she left this very morning.
In my city, as every where else, donations are pouring in and people have organized themselves in the most commendable manner to coordinate things at the camps. What is frustrating is that roads leading up north are blocked and traffic is slow. This is hampering the swift transport of goods. Thousands have stood up to volunteer, but they are being asked to calm their emotions, as what is more important right now is for the doctors and relief goods to get through. We need as many helicopters as we can get. The doctors, volunteers and aid are all waiting as desperately in queue, as those desperately waiting for them to get there.
Namsa Abbasi, Karachi, Pakistan

I am a university student. With my university (NUST ) fellows yesterday visited the Muzafabad city for earthquake relief. We met the local people over there and they requested us to convey their message to the world community that affected people need shelter badly, i.e. tents. so please request the people to rank sending tents higher than any thing else.
Taqi Raza, Rawalpindi

I was in Islamabad at the time the earthquake hit. My sister who got injured in Muzzafarabad was air lifted by an American copter. I really am thankful to Americans and all other nations that are taking part in the rescue operations.
Shahid Malik , Toronto, Canada

My whole family is in deep sense of shock and fear
Masood Khan, Birmingham
I am student completing bachelors degree at University of Central England and have come from Rawalakot, Kashmir when I heard about it I rang to my home and after long time it could have been possible for me to connected but shocked to find out that my father's two houses and his shop had completely collapsed and my mom has also suffered minor injury. My whole family is in deep sense of shock and fear. I am really worried about my family wish to go back now but couldn't possible till December. My whole home town (Rawalakot) has badly suffered and their houses have been completely destroyed(may Allah bless and help them) and people still waiting for rescue and help.
Masood Khan, Birmingham, UK

Every individual in Pakistan has been hit by the earthquake, either physically, mentally or both. At such a crucial time the media can do wonders or it can shatter people who already have little to rely upon. While watching the BBC telecast it was awful to notice that all that was highlighted was the message that nothing was being done for those affected, that help wasn't being sent and a very betrayed picture was being presented. In no way can anyone deny the fact that rescue efforts are late to reach those in need but the vastness of the catastrophe and the hardships of transportation, it being the northern regions, should also be seen and weighed upon before making these conclusions. The least that BBC as a communication medium can do is to paint the brighter side of the picture too and give hope!
Maheen, Islamabad, Pakistan

My 17-year-old brother in law, his cousins and a multitude of men from the village of Gala Kashmir rallied together and were able to take three truck loads of relief to Bagh, a Village in Kashmir which is in a desperate state. On their arrival they were ambushed by a gang of men from outside the region, who smashed the lorries windows and tried to loot the relief. My brother in law and the others were able to fight back and deposit the relief safely. But when departing they were ambushed again and the lorry was damaged so the men had to walk for eight hours back to the safe haven of their own village. Since leaving Bagh the young men remain in a state of shock, from the overwhelming images imprinted in their minds. The people of Bagh are in desperate state they not only need relief but also protection from those who are taking advantage of the situation. I fear for the women and children. I fear for the innocent people or what is left of the people of Bagh.
Shemiza Rashid, Luton

The tragedy is colossal, the damage unfathomable
Mahwesh Mumtaz, Islamabad
The tragedy is colossal, the damage unfathomable! But the spirit with which Pakistani people, our Government, military, and political powerhouses have united and are combating this natural disaster, gives everyone hope that when united even the most limited resources can be stretched extensively. Being a Pakistani and a resident of Islamabad, one of the cities effected by Saturday's earthquake, I can say without a doubt that Pakistan Government and its people could not have taken a better or a prompter relief action than they did. Our expectations have not only been met, they have been exceeded, and we are all proud of being Pakistanis today!
Mahwesh Mumtaz, Islamabad, Pakistan

I have to say, that although the BBC is doing a good job in keeping the world up to date with the disaster, I have to wonder if they are being just a bit too critical. As chaotic as the response may seem to you, I think you are misrepresenting the effort being made by both the Pakistani government and its people. Maybe you should go and see the fundraising that has been going on in the rest of Pakistan. The government is doing its job, and the people are doing theirs. I believe that before the snowfall begins, all the affected survivors will have been moved from areas like Balakot inshallah.
Neva, Karachi

I think that the delivery of aid, be it food, water or clothes couldn't have been done in a more haphazard and disorganised manner. There are multiple roadside stalls in Karachi welcoming aid donations, but how exactly are they going to ensure they get to the obscure places up North? What's the point of small independent camps? What we need is basically a few large organisations to take on this responsibility, so that there is more order to the way things are managed!
Yureeda Qazi, Karachi, Pakistan


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