Floods have ravaged Pakistan in recent weeks, leaving millions of men, women and children homeless. The death toll is expected to rise as waterborne disease, malaria, and skin and respiratory infections set in, and food shortages continue. Children are especially vulnerable.
In this Sept. 3, 2010, commentary, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, calls on his fellow Americans to donate more to relief efforts for the troubled region. He notes that U.S. charities have only raised $10.6 million so far, compared to the $560 million raised for Haiti in half the time following the earthquake there.
Mr. Baker, a former U.S. secretary of state and the honorary chairman of the Baker Institute, writes that the stakes are high, both for Pakistanis and for Americans:
"This is a critical point in Pakistan's history, and the response from Americans is crucial to our relationship with that key country. If the Pakistani people lose hope amid this catastrophe, extremist groups seeking opportunities to exploit the floods for their own ends will find even more fertile recruiting grounds."
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