Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help Flood Victims in Pakistan

More people have been affected by the flooding in Pakistan than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Almost 2,000 dead, 2 million homeless, and over 14 million affected - one out of every ten in the country. One-fifth of the country is flooded. All of this as most Pakistanis start fasting for Ramadan. The UN is calling for a massive increase in help from the international community. The U.S. media doesn't seem to be really covering the event, but after the break, we've listed a bunch of ways you can help.

Hillary Clinton announced Wednesday that Americans could text the word "SWAT" to the number 50555 to donate $10 per SMS message to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to provide tents, clothing, food, clean water and medicine to Pakistan.

American Red Cross seeks to raise $100,000 to aid its Pakistan equivalent — Pakistan Red Crescent — with teams on the ground providing food, other relief items and medical care. To donate, go to their website.

UNICEF is providing help with water, sanitation, health and nutrition for displaced children and families. To donate, please click here.

Stamford, Conn.-based AmeriCares is sending medical and other aid to the hardest-hit areas of the flood. Readers can donate through the AmeriCares website.

CARE needs donations for its health teams, mobile clinics and distribution of food, which will help 100,000 flood victims. To donate, go to their website.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres is providing water, sanitation help, hygiene kits, cooking utensils and other items to Pakistanis. Doctors Without Borders has also prepared itself to care for patients in case of cholera outbreaks. To donate to Doctors Without Borders, give to its emergency fund.

The International Rescue Committee, founded by Albert Einstein in 1933, is on the ground assessing the disaster, planning to make clean water accessible and to provide shelter to people who have lost their homes. To donate to the IRC's efforts in Pakistan, click here.

The International Medical Corps (IMC) has sent mobile medical teams of doctors and paramedics to assist victims in the hardest hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the northwest. To make a donation to the Santa Monica, Calif. based organization, founded by a UCLA doctor, go to the IMC website. The organization is also seeking doctors, nurses and trained professionals from a wide variety of fields. For more information and to volunteer, visit the Corps' website.

Westport, Conn.-based Save the Children, dedicated to helping children worldwide, is already providing medical care, food and shelter kits. To donate to its Pakistan efforts, click here.

Mercy Corps' Pakistan Emergency Fund supports Mercy Corps workers with their efforts in helping displaced families in the hard-hit Swat Valley. Visit the Mercy Corps website to donate to the Pakistan Emergency Fund.

Oxfam hopes to reach 400,000 people affected by the devastating floods, supplying clean water and preventing the spread of waterborne disease. To support Oxfam's efforts, go to the Oxfam America website. Those outside the US can donate to its UK emergency relief fund for Pakistan.

The World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, is supplying food to the tens of thousands affected by the floods. To donate, visit the WFP website.

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.

BRAC has temporarily halted its normal operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to provide relief work. Due to the acute food shortage, BRAC Pakisan has begun to deliver food packets containing such items at rice, lentils, flour and water purification tables. In the immediate future, the team will also be distributing Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and sending out a medical team to begin assessing health needs. To donate, click here.

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