Sep 1

Past Event

Responding to the Historic Floods in Pakistan: Political and Security Considerations

Event Materials



  • Neglect by Pakistani Government

    Stephen Cohen: One of the causes of the current crisis in Pakistan is decades of neglect by the government of its own environment. One cause of the neglect is that the government is ruled by the military.

    Stephen P. Cohen

  • A Fragile Situation in Pakistan

    Gen. Jehangir Karamat (ret.): Pakistan''s flood disaster comes on top of an already fragile situation in terms of internal security. While the government has to bear the brunt of criticism, it is coping to the best of its ability

  • Three Priorities of USAID

    Mark Ward, USAID: USAID has had three priorities during this initial relief phase--shelter, food and health.

  • Defining Moment for Pakistan

    Tim Lenderking, U.S. State Department: This is a defining moment for Pakistan with challenges and opportunities. We do not yet know the scope of this disaster, but the U.S. is throwing its entire weight behind providing support.

  • Concert of Effort in Pakistan

    Michael Young, International Rescue Committee: Despite the challenges, Pakistan is rich in human resources and there is a coordinated effort going on where everyone is on the same page and working for the same goal.


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Monsoon rains have helped create the worst humanitarian crisis in Pakistan’s modern history. Massive flooding throughout the Khyber-Paktunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces have killed nearly 2,000 people and harmed some 20 million. The disaster has also created security concerns in what is already an unstable political climate. How the Pakistani government and the international community respond to this emergency will have far-reaching political consequences for the country and the region.

On September 1, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement hosted a discussion on the challenges the Pakistani government and the international community face in responding to the flooding. Panelists included Mark Ward of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the International Rescue Committee’s Michael Young; Tim Lenderking of the U.S. Department of State; and Brookings experts Stephen P. Cohen and Gen. Jehangir Karamat (Ret.).

Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, director of the Brookings-Bern Project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda


September 1, 2010

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105