The floods in Pakistan have created a humanitarian crisis that gets worse with every day.
Now Southampton has launched its own campaign to get survival essentials into the hands of the worst hit Pakistan families thousands of miles away.
The Southampton Flood Relief Campaign which began with a few families in Chandler’s Ford, has spawned a Southampton and Hampshire-wide scheme that organiser Mohammed Ansar hopes will involve everyone from schools to the Women’s Institute.
Mr Ansar called on everyone, whether business or individual, to do their bit, no matter how small.
He said: “We have got an area twice the size of England flooded, millions affected, crops gone, farms gone, houses and shops washed away.
“People desperately need help and we as individuals are running around.
“This is a rallying cry – there’s something that everybody can do and you’re not talking about a lot of money.”
Around 2,000 people have lost their lives, 1.2m homes have been destroyed and 20 million people affected by the floods and criticism has been made of the international response, with many people still struggling to get aid.
Mr Ansar said he knew of many people from the Southampton Pakistani community whose families had been directly affected.
The Southampton Flood Relief Campaign asks people not to give money, but to make up a box with essential items. So far, gatherings held in Chandler’s Ford have raised the £3,000 needed to make up 500 boxes that were shipped out last weekend.
A third fundraising party is planned for a couple of weeks’ time.
He said: “We’re asking people to put £5 on top of their weekly shopping. Potentially, in two days’ time, that box will be put into another family’s hands.
“Pakistan is not very fashionable, there’s a perception of the country that is completely unfair and that shouldn’t be a reason for people not to give.”
• To help in any way email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message with the Muslim Council of Southampton on 023 8098 6998.