Ministry gives ‘disgraceful’ €200,000 for Pakistan aid

The Austrian agriculture ministry has come under fire for providing just 200,000 Euros of immediate aid for victims of flooding in Pakistan.Max Santner, head of the international aid department of the Austrian Red Cross (ÖRK), branded the ministry’s decision to provide 200,000 Euros as “disgraceful”.He added: “I hope this amount is not everything to come from the government. What has been contributed so far is miserable.”Santner said two million Euros of immediate financial support by the ministry headed by Nikolaus Berlakovich of the People’s Party (ÖVP) would be “appropriate”. The Austrian government contributed the same sum as first-off assistance for earthquake-shattered Haiti in January.CARE Austria chief Andrea Wagner-Hager said 200,000 Euros were “better than nothing”, adding that the amount should be a “first step” that must be followed by more.Austria – one of the 10 richest countries in the world – has previously been criticised for cutting back investments in Third World countries. Its 8.5 million citizens, meanwhile, have been praised for donating more than 32 million Euros to charities and NGOs active in Haiti.Up to 20 million people have been affected by the floods, according to international organisations, which have cited the spread of different viruses and gastro-intestinal diseases as the main threat to the masses robbed off their homes by the water.- – -Visit the following websites to find information about how to donate to Austrian organisations active in the flooded parts of Pakistan – which are larger than Austria, Switzerland and Belgium