Raising Awareness Of Pakistan's Flood Victims

When monsoon rains began inundating regions of Pakistan, Anaheim resident Essam Ulhaq felt a wave of sadness. His parents' homeland was devastated. News images of displaced people became so painful to view that he stopped looking at them. Ulhaq, 25, was shocked that some of his friends knew little of the disaster — never mind donating to relief efforts. He would tell them that millions were now homeless, that they needed all the help they could get. To raise awareness, he and some friends decided to start their own group, Americans for Flood Relief. Such is the complicated story of aid to Pakistan, Ulhaq and others say. For a natural disaster that has displaced an estimated 20 million people and submerged one-fifth of the country, financial support has lagged far behind that offered to victims of the Haiti earthquake and other recent disasters.