Biggest disaster in the world in UN's History
Pakistan has been hit by one of the worst calamities for about a century in the world. The flood has affected over 18 million people (some estimates are of 20 million), who are in need of shelter, food or medical care. Nearly 10% of the whole population has been affected in one way or another. 6 million of the sufferers are children. UN has called it the worst disaster in the world in its history. Number of people affected by these floods surpass the combined figure of affected people in Asian Tsunami, Haiti Earthquake and Pakistan Earthquake of 2005.
Newborn twin boys lay covered up in a blanket on the floor of a Pakistani Army helicopter, as mother Zada Perveen (unseen) rests after being rescued by Pakistan Army soldiers during air rescue operations on August 9, 2010 over the village of Sanawan in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan. Of the twin boys, un-named at the time, the first was born 15 minutes before mid day and the other twin was born as the Army rescue helicopter was circling above to find a safe landing position on a road surrounded by flood waters. The mother was then carried on a makeshift bed through chest deep flood waters to the awaiting Pakistan Army helicopter. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Mohammed Nawaz hangs onto a moving raft as he is rescued by the Pakistan Navy August 10, 2010 in Sukkur, Pakistan
[More pictures here]
Since the flood has been a "slow-motion tsunami," in words of Secretary General of UN, people haven't realized the scale of disaster it has been. Therefore, according to UN, even after 16 days, amount of aid received for relief efforts is around $200million in comparison to $1.6 billion committed after Indian Ocean Tsunami. The disaster which is a fold bigger than Asian Tsunami, lack of donation has really put millions of lives in danger for survival with more rains still pouring on those shelter-less people. Donations in name of humanity are requested from all. A hygiene kit (containing water purification tablets, soap etc) for a family costs around $25, and Islamic Relief estimates a food pack for a family for $49. A tent for 5 people costs around $60 to another organization. We can save lives of a number of families and children by donating as little as $10. However, the more the better but even lesser is important. Below I'm highlighting some methods you can use to contribute.
1. I'll be setting up a donation box outside my office, PHE 224, for collecting donations during the week in daylight hours. If you don't find the box, you can put your donation in envelope and slide it below the door. I'll be forwarding these donations to Community Health Sciences Department at University of Peshawar for they have been making visits to smaller towns to assess actual needs, which have the possibility of being neglected by large organization. Being local, they have been able to reach a lot of places before others could arrive and their voluntary nature is keeping their overhead cost very low. The efforts are lead by a former Fulbright Student and a friend of mine, who graduated from Harvard Medical School. More information about their ongoing work is here
2. Islamic Relief Worldwide, a relief organization based in Birmingham, England, has launched a £2 million (or $3.2 million USD) appeal to deliver clean water, food and health care. You can donate here.
3. UNICEF is providing help with water, sanitation, health and nutrition for displaced children and families. To donate, please click here.
4. Edhi Foundation: One of the most reputable NGO in Pakistan for its humanitarian works. Contact details click here
5. IEEE Foundation: You can contribute to the IEEE Pakistan Engineering Educational and Professional Development Rebuilding Fund online through the IEEE Foundation or by check to IEEE Foundation – Pakistan Fund. Checks should be mailed to the IEEE Development Office, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. IEEE will match the first US$50,000 in donations.
6. Texting services:
i. SWAT to 50555 to donate $10
ii. ZAKATUS to 50555 to donate $10 to the Zakat Foundation of America, which is providing food and clothing for flood survivors
iii. AID to 27722 to give $10 the the World Food Programme USA, which transports food to flood victims in isolated communities.
For more donation options see: 1, 2 and 3