Islamabad: Pakistan will have to
demonstrate it can spend relief funds transparently and well
if it wants more help in rebuilding after its massive floods,
the US aid chief said, as officials in the northwest vowed
on Wednesday to stop banned Islamist groups from helping victims.
America has been the most generous contributor to
the flood aid, rushing in emergency assistance to support a
vital ally in the war against al-Qaeda and Taliban. But
rebuilding homes, roads, livelihoods and vital infrastructure
will cost billions of dollars, and there are questions over
who will pay.
The Pakistan government says about USD 800 million
in emergency aid has been committed or pledged so far. But
there are concerns internationally about how the money will be
spent by the government, which has a reputation for
inefficiency and corruption.
Rajiv Shah, administrator of the US Agency for
International Development, said the United States would
continue to urge nations to donate.
"We are going to work at it, but these are tough
economic times around the world and it will require a
demonstration of real transparency and accountability and that
resources spent in Pakistan get results," he said in an
interview with The Associated Press late yesterday.
The floods began almost a month ago with the onset
of the monsoon and have ravaged a massive swath of the
country, from the mountainous north through to its
agricultural heartland. More than 8 million people are in need
of emergency assistance.
Along with the government, local and international
agencies and the US military, a number of Islamist groups have
been providing aid to flood victims. At least one of the
groups is alleged to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned
militant organization blamed for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai,
The government in the northwest issued an order
today barring banned Islamist groups from operating relief
camps, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the chief spokesman for the
province. But it was unclear whether any such camps had been
shut down by today evening or how exactly the government was
going about identifying them.