Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aid Agencies reject NZ donation - "Too Hard" to organise food aid for Pakistan

New Zealand organic baby food exporter 'Green Monkey Organics' are frustrated that their donation of food aid to Pakistan has been rejected due to what aid agencies are calling a 'logistical' issue.

The company has just pulled out of the US market and instead of selling leftover stock cheaply they decided to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars of product to help the crisis in Pakistan. However, aid agencies here, and abroad, are unable to assist.

Business owner Charlotte Rebbeck has contacted the UN, Unicef, and Red Cross, but all have said it is simply "too hard" to organise.

Her US freight forwarder even offered to get the product there free of charge and clear customs, but no-one is prepared to help distribute the product or offer any further assistance.

Pakistan faces the greatest humanitarian crisis of the decade. So far, over 1, 600 people have died, 2 million have been forced from their homes, and over 14 million lives have been affected by the disaster. Aid is both 'not enough' and 'too slow' as the international community has barely pledged a quarter of the UN's $650 million appeal.

It bemuses me that in one breath aid agencies say they are not receiving enough aid, and in the next they can reject a donation of one hundred thousand small meals of non-perishable organic fruit and vegetables due to 'logistical' problems.

The people of Pakistan are dying. Children are starving and suffering from malnutrition and disease. 'Logistics' is hardly a valid excuse for denying these people the aid that is due to them.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but I can't imagine it would take more than a few phone calls to coordinate the delivery and distribution of this product to the people of Pakistan. Aid agencies insist the process is "too hard" to organise, but it raises the obvious question - are they trying hard enough?

Credit to for this story.

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