Overcoming Compassion Fatigue to Aid Pakistan
4 million homeless. 8 million in need of urgent humanitarian care. 20 million total people affected. Pakistan has become a seemingly endless list of numbers that can only begin to describe the devastation following severe flooding of the Indus river. This crisis has affected more people than the Haiti earthquake, the 2004 Asia tsunami, and 2005 Pakistan earthquake--combined. 1/5 of the country is under water. That’s the equivalent of Italy being completely submerged. It’s overwhelming, and incomprehensible. The media hasn’t taken much interest. And the international donor response so far has been “scant.” But 25 days into the disaster, the situation continues to get worse. Secretary Clinton finally announced a relief fund for Pakistan on Thursday, the same day that Senator John Kerry paid the ravaged area a visit. With so many disasters happening one right after the other, it can start to feel like too much to keep donating-- some call this “compassion fatigue,” or “donor fatigue.” Perhaps the biggest difficulty for those of us living in wealthy countries is to keep caring that people all over the world are suffering every day. That’s part of the luxury we have. Flip the channel, close the browser. But it’s also just as easy for us to help. And by helping now, we can prevent more deaths, from disease or lack of shelter. If a 5-year-old can give away her life savings, we can all pitch in to turn this crisis into one of the biggest outpourings from the international community. Donate a day’s salary if you can. Even $10 can go a long way. You can donate here (or via Google) or here, or to a charity you know and trust.