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Race is on to help flood survivors
A MASSIVE relief operation following the devastating killer floods that have swept across Pakistan is gathering pace – and Basingstoke residents are being urged to do their bit to help bring aid to the millions in need.
A deluge of rain in the north-west of the country across late July and early August heralded the worse floods for 80 years.
It is estimated more than 1,600 lives have been lost and many people remain cut off from aid, with homes and infrastructure torn away by the floods.
UNICEF has appealed for £29.5million to fund its relief operation, which has begun delivering aid to some of the worst-hit areas.
Asif Hamid, a member of Basingstoke’s Pakistani community, has family in the country and told The Extra that every pound counts.
He said: “It is mainly rural areas that have been affected. These are inhabited by people of limited means so what little they had was swept away.
“They need shelter, clean clothing and food. It is a difficult economic time but just a pound would feed a family a meal, so people do not need to think that just donations of £10 or £20 are necessarily required.”
Mr Hamid has family in Peshawar, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, who have managed to escape the worst of the floods due to their urban location.
The Disaster Emergency Committee launched its Pakistan Floods Appeal last week, and chief executive Brendan Gormley has made a direct appeal to the public. So far, more than £6million has been donated.
Mr Gormley said: “These devastating floods have left millions fighting to survive with little food, clean water or shelter.
“As monsoon rains continue unabated, it is clear that the situation is deteriorating and the speed of our response is vital.
“DEC member agencies and their partners have already reached over 300,000 people on the ground, but with roads and bridges damaged, the challenges we face are considerable. We urgently need the public’s help to save more lives.”
To donate, ring the automated donation line on 0370 60 60 900 or visit dec.org.uk.