As international concern mounts about the humanitarian disaster that is engulfing Pakistan, there are also concerns that emergency relief may have been slow to take off because of widespread fears that funds may not reach those who need it.
The UK is one of Pakistan’s largest aid donors and today the UK and Pakistan chapters of the global anti-corruption coalition, Transparency International, join forces to urge the UK Government, the public and aid agencies not to hold back on their emergency response for fear that funds might be misused.
Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman of Transparency International Pakistan, and Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, have issued the following statement:
‘Nature’s fury has made millions of poor Pakistani citizens victims of one of this century’s worst humanitarian disasters. That tragedy would be compounded if fears about corruption were to reduce aid from the UK government and public. We believe the answer is to have adequate safeguards for greater transparency, monitoring and accountability in the disbursement of emergency relief as well as aid for longer-term reconstruction efforts.’
‘Citizens should also be involved in decision-making, those reporting corrupt behaviour should be protected, and the corrupt punished. Corruption should not be a reason for withholding aid in desperate humanitarian crises. Transparency International’s handbook for dealing with such crises, and important recommendations made in the wake of the devastating 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, show how corruption risks can be reduced so that aid reaches those who need it most.‘
For any press enquiries please contact
Syed Adil Gilani Chairman, TI Pakistan
T: +92-21 3539 0408/9 or +9232 18229086
Robert Barrington, Director of External Affairs, TI UK
T: 0207 785 6360 or 07734 744 877
Janice Allen, Communications Manager, TI UK
T: 07902 841 386