"This flooding has already affected more people than the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake combined," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday during an address to the United Nations. Over 20 million Pakistanis have been affected during this humanitarian crisis and as the rains relentlessly fall the risk of expanded flooding continues. Shortages in food, shelter, clean drinking water, and medical supplies face families across the region and as the water continues to rise, it may get worse before it gets better.
That is why the United States Government through the Department of State created the Pakistan Relief Fund for people like you to contribute money to the ongoing relief efforts in Pakistan. Though Secretary Clinton acknowledged that these are tough economic times and everyone has tight budgets, every dollar makes a difference in providing immediate relief and assistance to support a sustained recovery. Five dollars can buy 50 high energy bars providing desperately needed nutrition, $10 can provide a blanket for a mother or a child, and about $40 can buy material to shelter a family of four who has lost their home in the floods.
Americans can help the Pakistani people confront this challenge by donating $10 through their mobile phone by texting the word FLOOD to 27722. Your contribution will provide life sustaining items to help people in the flood-affected area.
President Obama is committed to continuing to assist the Government of Pakistan in their immediate response and being a partner in the long term recovery. After the Government of Pakistan requested help, the United States responded swiftly. Secretary Clinton described the response:
Under the direction of the Government of Pakistan and the National Disaster Management Authority, the United States has been working since the earliest days of the flooding to provide assistance to those it can reach and who need it most. Our civilian helicopters began assisting in relief efforts almost immediately. American military helicopters were redirected to rescue Pakistanis within hours of the Pakistani Government’s request for help. Less than a day later, American military aircraft began delivering 400,000 halal meals from storehouses in Dubai. These efforts continue. And to date, U.S. aircraft have carried more than 6,000 Pakistanis to safety and distributed more than a million pounds of relief supplies.
We’ve also provided enough heavy-duty waterproof sheeting to construct temporary shelters for more than 100,000 people. And we have supplied the Pakistani Government with rescue boats, concrete cutting saws, water filtration units, and a dozen prefabricated bridges.
The initial response by the Pakistani Government and people, the United States, and the international community has helped to alleviate suffering and save lives. But the combined efforts so far pale against the magnitude of the challenge.
Secretary Clinton then urged the international community and the American people to come to the aid of Pakistan. You can donate online now or learn about additional opportunities to help assist those being affected by this monumental crisis.