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Why many Pakistani-Americans aren't sending flood donations home

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Mr. Berger says some of the problem could be related to the difficulty of media reaching the flooded areas. But, he says, giving could also be down because people are on summer vacation or simply because of the vast geographical distance between the US and Pakistan.

Although some people may not give because of their concerns about corruption, he says those same concerns existed for Haiti, where contributions after January's earthquake far outpaced the rate of giving in the aftermath of Pakistan’s flooding.

Whatever the reason, charities are feeling the affect.

At the Zakat Foundation of America in Chicago, Executive Director Halil Demir says giving has been “very slow,” with the charity not even raising 20 percent of what it raised to help Haitians. “This is very scary that the message is not getting through.”

It’s a similar situation at Concern Worldwide, a nonprofit that responds to such crisis, says Dominic MacSorley, the operations director.

“We are trying to reach 250,000 people and we have pledges of $8 million but our budget needs to double and double next week,” he says.

On Thursday, the slow giving is one reason why Hillary Clinton will visit the United Nations for a General Assembly plenary session on the humanitarian situation in Pakistan. Last week, the UN appealed for pledges of $460 million. The US responded with a pledge of $90 million but other nations have been slower, says Mr. MacSorley.

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