Pakistan flood relief
Today I donated money to the Pakistan flood relief efforts. The floods were big news back in August, but thanks to the usual media amnesia, we haven't heard a peep about it since then. But the flooding was really bad then, it's still really bad now, and it's going to continue to be bad for a while: the flood has displaced 20 million people (or 1/8 of Pakistan!), it destroyed 17 million acres of cropland and killed 200,000 cattle, meaning they're in for food shortages for a long time to come. It's one of the worst disasters in the country's history. Plus the Taliban are trying to move in and capitalize on the situation.
It's going to be a long hard reconstruction process and they continue to need all the help they can get. But donations have reportedly been slower in coming than for similar disasters. (Due to low immediate death toll, lack of media attention, because everybody gave all their money to Haiti already, or because people don't like Pakistan as much; who knows.)
For both of those reasons, I felt like it was a good time to give them some money. I went through Islamic Relief USA because I heard some not so good stuff about Green Crescent. But Islamic Relief is rated highly and seems to have a lot of experience working with Pakistanis on the ground.
Given the world situation, I figure we should do anything we can, even in a small way, to show ordinary Pakistanis that Americans are not the Great Satan. (not that Obama is making that easy, with all the fucking Predator robot drone attacks, but that's a rant for another blog post.)