After touring the flood-affected areas in Sindh, President Zardari has asked the UN Secretary-General to launch a humanitarian appeal for Pakistan. He also asked Pakistani expatriates to donate to the effort to rehabilitate the victims of this years floods. Mr Zardaris assurance that the people would be provided relief would ring hollow in the ears of those who also faced devastation last year. It should also be noted that while the international community during the worst ever floods last year, made pledges of large sums of aid, by no means all were disbursed. Similarly, any appeal made this year will probably lead to pledges being made, but actual disbursements will probably not be commensurate with them. Besides, the habit of carrying out relief only when foreign funding is available does not befit an independent and sovereign nation, and the result will be much like what has been seen, with those rendered homeless in last years floods not having been rehabilitated while this years victims have been rendered homeless. It is also to be noticed that with global warming, the monsoon floods are expected to be worse than before, and a natural question is whether or not this years floods could have been predicted. Another question the government would find difficult to answer is whether whatever aid was disbursed last year was spent properly. That answer will be used by reluctant donors either not to make, or at least limit, pledges this year, but will also be used by them to impose stringent conditions on whatever amounts they promise. The government must get out of the habit of using natural disasters to extract aid from the international community. It must know that it is going to face even worse flooding in years to come, and should prepare for that. If there is so much concern about foreign donors, they should be asked to invest in flood control measures, like the Kalbagh Dam, and unreasoning prejudice which prevents its construction, should be dispelled.