Barely hidden beneath the surface of Pakistan's worst flooding in living memory were the geopolitical stakes shaping both the justifications for official Western assistance and how aid was delivered to victims of the disaster. The perverse result may be a further restricting of the ability of humanitarian aid workers to assist the Pakistani population in the most volatile areas of the country.
Muzaffargarh, Pakistan — Sughra Ramzan knew something was wrong when strange pains began ripping through her stomach for the second time. The pregnant mother feared her baby was in trouble — but there was nothing she could do… Like Ramzan, tens of thousands of expectant moms were marooned by floods that have swallowed an area of Pakistan larger than Florida. Some 18 million people have been affected, 70 percent of them women and children, in the country's worst natural disaster.
The lack of resources to cope with the disaster is worrying aid organizations. The humanitarian agency Médecins San Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement that it was assessing health service needs in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan Provinces.