Wales raises £200k in the first day of DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal as Malala joins the calls for support
Wales has rallied in support of the DEC Cymru Pakistan Floods Appeal, raising £200,000 in just the first 24 hours.
A total of £8 million has been raised across the nations of the UK in this period with the support of activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and other prominent figures raising the profile of the appeal.
Donations can be made at www.dec.org.uk or by calling 0330 678 1000.
Aid workers are warning that the worst is yet to come for people in flood-hit areas. Satellite images confirmed yesterday that one third of the country – an area the size of the four nations of the UK is underwater.
Around 33 million people are affected, approximately 16 million of whom are children and at least 1,200 people have been killed. The WHO says that 900 health facilities have been badly damaged, underlining the long-term impact of the disaster.
DEC charities are reaching people with small boats in the worst hit areas to deliver aid or evacuate them where necessary. They urgently need more funds to scale up their operations in coordination with the Government of Pakistan and UN agencies.
DEC Cymru Chair Sarah Rees said: “Giving through the DEC is the most effective way to get widespread and coordinated assistance to those most in need in Pakistan, as quickly as possible.
“Our charities are already on the ground distributing life-saving emergency medical care and supplies including tents, food and hygiene kits to those suffering the dire impacts of this crisis.
“Whilst we are hugely grateful for the amount raised on the first day of this appeal, we urgently need further funds to scale up DEC charities’ operations across affected regions and provide immediate assistance to the most vulnerable people. We of course appreciate that it’s a difficult time here in the Wales, but the sheer scale of this disaster means people in Pakistan need urgent help to survive – please donate if you can.”
George Inayat, a nurse in a care home in Newport said he felt compelled to return to Pakistan to accompany his family through these traumatic times.
“My whole family except for my wife and children are in Pakistan and most of them have been affected by the floods,” he said. “Some of them have lost their homes and their animals. I have family all over Pakistan, but I hope to visit the ones in Chārsadda, Punjab a Frontier.
“While out there, the biggest thing I can offer them is moral support and advice and information about diseases. It is very important to me that I can show them that I feel their pain and that I do what I can to help my family.”
Heart-breaking stories of people caught up in the flooding have also begun to emerge. Maryam Imtiaz of CARE Pakistan, in Islamabad, said that with entire villages washed away, families broken and many people sleeping under the sky, the usual social structure that keeps people safe has fallen apart.
“A few days ago, at an aid distribution point in Quetta, a woman, Mahzeb Bibi*, walked to us in the worst shape of any human being could possibly be,” he said.
“She told us she had lost her home and in the middle of the night they were unable to save two women and two children from the rising water, losing four family members overnight. Her grievance and loss are beyond our understanding.
“We know that the worst is yet to come. More rains are on the way bringing more devastation and tragedy for the people of Pakistan. We hope that the British public will support us in our hour of need.”
Activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai voiced her support for the Pakistan Floods Appeal with an emotional call for donations that followed the evening news yesterday (Thursday 1 September) on ITV, S4C, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
She was joined by actor, writer and broadcaster Adil Ray OBE who presented the appeal on the BBC.
Malala Yousafzai said that flooding has displaced millions in Pakistan and swept away homes, schools and entire communities.
“If you feel compelled, please donate to provide support to people in need,” she said. “Your donation, however big or small, will help families survive the immediate shock, build temporary classrooms so children can continue to learn and support recovery efforts for those who’ve lost so much.”
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said they were extremely grateful to everyone who has so far been moved to donate to the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal.
“We also extend our thanks to the UK Government, who are matching pound-for-pound the first £5 million donated by the public, as well as our broadcast partners and celebrities for having aired and joined the appeal, reaching millions of viewers and listeners,” he said.
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