International aid for Pakistani flood is "sluggish" and ungenerous

Oxfam says that substantially less has been pledged to flood relief effort than for previous disaste

The international response to the flood disaster in Pakistan has been slow and ungenerous, compared with other relief efforts, according to Oxfam.

The leading aid agency said that, as of 9 August, governments had committed less than $45m, with an additional $91m pledged.

Despite the huge scale of the disaster, which has affected 14 million people and killed at least 1,600, this is substantially less than the amount of money pledged for other disasters over a similar time period.

According to the statement, within the first ten days of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, 3.5 million people homeless, $247m had been committed by the international community.

In the first ten days after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, affecting 2.4 million people, nearly $110m was committed and £109m pledged.

India, Pakistan's historic enemy and close neighbour, has not offered any assistance at all. After the 2005 earthquake, it donated 25 tonnes of food, medicine, tents and blankets.

So far, just five countries - Britain, the US, Australia, Italy, and Kuwait - have offered more than $5m assistance.

The UN has warned that its emergency workers are in danger of being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crisis.

Neva Khan, Oxfam country director in Pakistan, said: "The rains are continuing and [with] each hour that passes the flooding is multiplying misery across the entire country. This is a mega disaster and it needs a mega response."

The Pakistani Taliban has urged the government to fund relief efforts itself and refuse to accept Western aid money.