LONDON: The people of the Ganges Delta did not attract much attention until they were dead, said the “Sunday Times” in an editorial today [Nov 23]. The paper then asked: “Will enough at last have died to persuade the rich nations to protect the poor, against whom these acts of God so often strike?”

“Plainly”, the newspaper added, “the United Nations would be the agency best equipped to establish a permanent anti-disaster operation. The main need was for a flexible administrative network which could draw troops from any nation and arrange with member-States to stockpile medical and other supplies. Above all, it could act pre-emptively by making available to poor people as well as rich the information and other fruits from satellites and other technology.”

“The Observer” said the slowness with which relief was reaching the stricken people in East Pakistan was a matter of reproach to the whole world. It said that for years there had been talks about setting up permanent disaster organisations but they had never got beyond paper stage. …

“The Sunday Telegraph” also pointed to the lamentable delays in the dispatch of aid, blaming the absence of appropriate organisation. … “The time to make a start is now before the next great natural disaster.” — Agency

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

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