How You Can Help Pakistan

Posted by Haroon Ullah
August 20, 2010

About the Author: Haroon Ullah serves as Pakistan Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of State.

Starting 21 days ago, floods began wreaking havoc across Pakistan. Wiping out towns and villages, the flood waters swept from the North to the South. This tragedy has taken on epic and devastating proportions. It is difficult to understand the scale of this disaster.

• The floods have affected and displaced an estimated 20 million people, which is more than the population of all of New York State.

• For comparison, the flood-affected area is equal to the size of Italy, or slightly larger then the entire State of Arizona.

• Disease and malnutrition are the biggest threats to the flood victims, with more than 3.5 million children at risk for waterborne diseases, according to UN officials.

That is why Secretary Clinton announced the establishment of the Pakistan Relief Fund. The United States Government, through the Department of State, set up the Fund to call attention to the immediate need to help those who are suffering. This Fund allows individuals and organizations to support relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts in Pakistan.

The American people have always been extremely generous to those facing crises. And that is why today we are asking people to make a contribution to help those in need. It is important to know that anything you can give will have a positive impact. As little as $10 can make a difference by providing a mother or a child with a blanket. You can provide help right now by making an online contribution, texting "Flood" to 27722 from your mobile phone to give $10, or by downloading this form and mailing it with your check.

As we saw after the tragedy in Haiti, the sacrifice and generosity of people helped save lives, and we can make that same difference today in Pakistan. In New York on August 19, hundreds of people came together to raise awareness on the flood disaster at the Asia Society with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Under Secretary of State Judith McHale, Chairman of Open Society George Soros, President of the International Rescue Committee George Rupp, President of Oxfam America Raymond C. Offenheiser, and Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad, among others. The event was broadcast live in Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan were able to see Americans standing side by side with them in this hour of need, especially during the blessed time of Ramadan.

As Secretary Clinton said yesterday, "I want the people of Pakistan to know that the United States will stand with you during this crisis. We will be with you as rivers rise and fall. We will be with you as you replant your fields and repair your roads. We will be with you as you meet the long-term challenges to build a stronger nation and a better future."

We must give hope to the people of Pakistan.



Texas, USA
August 20, 2010

Sal G. in Texas writes:

I mailed my check today to the fund because I don't have a cell phone that I can use for texting donations.

I hope many others can contribute something also.

tammy j.
August 21, 2010

Tammy Jean writes:

I think you should make the donation site easier to find for people not having a lot of time digging through all links. I am trying to donate, but I went over all links and still could not find where it take donation through web.

donald m.
Virginia, USA
August 22, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

August 21, 2010

Introduce a world wide TELETHON to raise money to help Pakistan. Get the Pakistan people out providing a show around the clock, showing how much money is being raised, on International Media, open the phone lines, tap into the People of Pakistan to put on a show. Religious shows do it all the time to raise money.


Use the Internet, use Media outlets, and use the actors in Pakistan to show a side of Pakistan people may not have ever seen.

Mr. Jerry Lewis does those once a year shows MDA telethons that raise millions of dollars, why not have the Pakistans do a Telethon to help save its country?

I think alot of us are feeling the crunch in the United States with the prices of items and disasters happen even to US. Were not immune to problems, its how to adapt and overcome from the disasters.

South Korea
August 22, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:


A little more exciting and inspiring story out? Too weak...

New Mexico, USA
August 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

20 million affected, a land area the size of Italy underwater, and even the best efforts can only hope to put a dent in the suffering, and save a few lives.

I was thinking since Insia ans Pakistan were about to get into talks to resolve some of their bilateral relationshgip problems, that now would be good for India to offer temp shelter in India to as many displaced as possible since it's probably the only way to save lives when millions are in an untennable environment and will be for some time to come even as waters receed.

Not just India either, in fact when you have this many people displaced (and for months if not years having lost everything) then aid delivery alone is not going to save as many lives as offering shelter to as many as possible by granting emergency visa for up to one year in neigboring countries, the EU, USA, any nation willing to help feed cloth and house them and some job they can do (call it civil service to the host country) they can feel useful at and have a little saved to begin life anue when returning home to Pakistan.

Basicly what were talking about is humanitarian relocation for the duration on a voluntary level, and attacking this threat to a population by working both ends of the problem at the same time.

Priority should be given to families with small children as they need immediate removal from an unhealthy environment till it's possible to return.

Get the universities of the world to offer sholarships based on need, and you'll allow young folks to continue their education in this crisis.

If the world could reduce the number of internally displaced people in Pakistan by 1/2, then this will take a great deal of logistical problems out of the equasion in getting aid delivered to those remaining.

When the crisis is of "epic" proportion, an epic response is required by all of humanity and that means putting aside doubts about opening doors for folks to give them shelter from the storm.

India especially has the opportunity right now to improve its relations with Pakistan and its people directly.

And such an effort will be rewarded in resolving all the outstanding issues between governments, as well as the inevitable interaction between people that will result, as an "exchange program" of sorts.

We should be offering this kind of program for the million still displaced in Haiti as well.

Being that removing folks from the environment of disaster is the quickest way to get them to the aid they need, while you deliver it to those still stuck in the muck.

I think you'll save more lives that way in the long term.

South Korea
August 24, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to,,

first thing is "apologize"...

next is recovery,
-base model, base model is how about, A kind of collective farms(kibbutz)?

Divided, rather than support for individual organizations on specific areas collected in support of their joint effort is thought to speed recovery. Support is too wide and scattered, rather than committed effort to think the effect is weak.
and, I think we should make the selection. Which way will you go to their choice about whether I think. Food was scarce, or likely to think the price will rise. I think they should be selected. Select a country know what to do..

Thank You.

Noman K.
Illinois, USA
August 25, 2010

Noman K. in Illinois writes:

As an American Pakistani, I am so touched by this gesture. I have nothing to say but a heartfelt thank you. I am sure I speak for all the people who have any connections to Pakistan, or humanity for that matter.


Donald F.
Wyoming, USA
August 30, 2010

Donald F. in Wyoming writes:

Is it possible to make an online payment; e.g. via PayPal? Thanks, -- Don

DipNote Bloggers reply:

Hi Donald -- thanks for your interest in contributing. While we don't have anything through PayPal per se, there is a way to make online donations here.


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