Angelina Jolie Visits Flood Victims in Pakistan

UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie is in Pakistan. And good for her.  This calamity really needs to stay in the headlines.

Meanwhile, back in New York today, UNICEF chief Anthony Lake and Save the Children C.O.O Carolyn Miles held a press conference for a new UNICEF report on children and the Millennium Development Goals.  (The report itself is well worth a read. It argues that “equity” ought to be a principal criteria in deciding where and how to direct donor dollars for achieving the MDGs.)

Because both Lake and Miles returned from a trip to Pakistan this weekend, much of the conversation turned to the state of international relief efforts in Pakistan. Both Miles and Lake echoed Jolie’s concern that after the emergency phase of the relief effort concludes, international support for longer-term recovery efforts may run dry.

I fear they may be right.  Later this month, the UN’s initial $460 million emergency appeal will be revised, and likely be upwards of $1 billion.  So far, the international community has only provided about two thirds of the funding for the current appeal.  When the floods retreat further from the headlines, it is hard to imagine that the funding will be there for a complex plan for Pakistan’s long term recovery.  I hope I am wrong.