Pakistan floods: Want to help?

Dr Geet Chainani in the field: NEED food, medicines, water, tents

Pakistan was still reeling from the devastating floods of last year when fresh disaster struck.

The situation is worse than reported,” messaged the journalist and activist Aslam Khwaja, back in Karachi after a recent five-day visit to six rain-hit districts of Sindh. Many others working in the affected areas have relayed similar obervations as they scramble to renew their efforts.

Young Doctors Assocation volunteer at Mirpurkhas relief camp: URGENTLY NEED MEDICINES

8.1 million people are homeless, with less than a quarter of them (approx 0.71 million) accommodated in about 3,000 makeshift relief camps set up by the Sindh Government. Conditions are appalling, with severe shortage of food, water and medical supplies. Some 370 people have died, hundreds more injured, and some 6.1 million acres of land and 1.5 million houses underwater or severely damaged, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan. The estimated loss to the cotton crop is estimated at a staggering Rs 75 billion.

YOU CAN HELP by sending money and relief goods to the organization of your choice. The most urgent needs are: tents, food, clean water, medicine.

PIA is transporting relief goods free of cost to Pakistan, but when sending in-kind donations please coordinate the donation beforehand, and ensure you have a reliable point person to receive it, or the material risks being held up in customs or for lack of payment of various duties and taxes, points out Dr Geet Chainani who runs Lifebridge in the flood hit areas of Dadu and Thatta.

She notes that because these services are new, there are processes involved that not everyone is aware of. Donors need to ensure that the recipients of their relief goods in Pakistan won’t end up paying duties and taxes, or arranging transport, which drains their already stretched financial and manpower resources.

“It doesn’t help when someone tells me there’s a truckload of water bottles to be collected from Karachi,” she says. “I need that water but to arrange the transport from Karachi to Dadu is costly. It’s better to send money so we can buy the water, or medicines, in areas close to us – or get someone to take care of it”.

Dr Chainani came to Pakistan from New York on Sept 1, 2010, intending to stay for a month in search of her Sindhi roots. She has now been working with relief efforts in the area for over a year – see my article about her, March 2011 (and hear her recent interview with Chris Lydon for the Another Pakistan series on Radio Opensource). After a month back in New York she is now heading “home” to Sindh again, “to my people” as she puts it. Contact: To DONATE: Paypal Link or facebook Causes page: Sindh Relief, Rehab, and Development

Other credible organisations, information about some of which is already on this blog:

INDUS RESOURCE CENTRE, working in Khairpur and Mirpurkhas, run by educationist Sadiqa Salahuddin – see her email update of Sept 16 posted to this blog which also identifies the main needs and issues in those areas – most urgent need is for dry food. Basic essentials for ten days for a family of six cost around Rs 3,000 a pack.
Indus Resource Centre (IRC) bank account details:
Title A/C:                      Indus Resource Centre, Habib Bank LTD
US$ A/c# :                      00120250022610
PKR A/C#:                      00120001651403B
SWIFTCODE #:              HABBPKKA
Branch Code #:             0012
Addre                     ZamZama Branch,   D.H.A Phase V, Karachi
Indus Resource Centre office address: D-42, Block 1, Clifton, near Ziauddin Hospital, Karachi

KARACHI RELIEF TRUST – A Disaster Management Voluntary Organization run by professionals (including architect Adnan Asdar whom I know and vouch for) working to provide sustainable relief initially to those affected by the cyclone in Balochistan and Sindh in 2007. Subsequently they have been working with those affected by the mega-floods of 2010, and now. They have various donation programmes including: 30 Days Ration – Adopt a Camp – Temporary Shelter. Details at Karachi Relief Trust website and Facebook page

YOUNG DOCTORS’ ASSOCIATION: Dr Faraz Choudhry (twitter@iDrFaraz), General Secretary of Young Doctors Association, RahimYarKhan Punjab chapter is working with medical teams in Mirpurkhas – YDA has been announced as official coordinator of flood and disaster in south Punjab and Sindh. As of Sept 18, the YDA team had treated over 7,500 patients in about 30 different villages and camps in the Mirpurkhas area. Urgent needs: medicines.
Donations in kind can be sent to Dr Faraz Chaudry, Department of Pathology, Shaikh Zayed Medical college, Rahimyarkhan
Or directly to the camp: Dr Faraz c/o Mian Amjad Saeed, Al Saeed General store, Station Road, Kot Ghulam Muhammad, Mirpurkhas
For banking details contact: +92-3337415101

INDUS FOUNDATION TRUST set up as a citizen’s trust by Sherry Rehman, Naheed Jafri, Jamal Mir and Nadeem Hussain is collecting items to deliver “without any partisanship” in the areas they service. Details of their subsistence food packs (Rs 2,000 or USD 23 for a family of 10 for two weeks), and hygiene kits for women (Rs.1500/- per pack) posted to this blog along with donation details, repeated below:
Send cheques to THE INDUS FOUNDATION TRUST or deliver goods to:
49 Old Clifton, Karachi. Phones 00 92 21 35834663/4   Fax: 00 92 21 35837201.
Anis Memon will give you a receipt.
Tariq Sheikh can be contacted for coordination queries or supply needs.
To send remittances from abroad please send to FCY Acct Tameer Bank in HBM 20310-333-400598 for onward credit to Acc no: 151006003997001 Habib Metropolitan Bank
Main Branch Swift Code MPBLPKKA001
USD Correspondent Habib American Bank
Swift Code HANYUS33

SOUTHASIA RELIEF: SA Relief, started by US-based activist A.R. Rafique, has been working on several relief efforts since 2005 and has a strong local contact base. When the floods struck last year, SA Relief partnered with Offroad Pakistan (Dr Awab Alvi and Faisal Kapadia) to start PkRelief, collecting and distributing relief valuing well over 170,000 USD for flood relief efforts. The SA Relief blog is constantly updated – see Flood Relief 2011 – Mission: Badin, includes online donation details. Currently they have adopted 3 camps in Badin, Sindh with the support of Nishat Welfare Organization, where 1,000  IDPs are housed. They plan to provide the IDPs with cooked meals for at least the next 15 days.

There are many other organisations working in the field. For a comprehensive list, see details compiled last year by Superstars for flood relief. There are also links at the page Flood Relief Info, on this blog.

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