Earthquake Update -- Relief Efforts
Information on organizations working to provide relief to victims of the devastating October quake.
The UCLA Center for India and South Asia has received the following information from Ms. Ayesha Hasan (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org), a development consultant in Karachi, Pakistan, which we are disseminating (in a paraphrased version) by way of obtaining a clearer picture on the recent earthquake that devastated South Asia and its consequences. We do not endorse Ms. Hasan personally, or suggest that donations should be given to any particular organization. Individual donors should exercise their own judgement.
The post-quake situation seems to be escalating out of control. There are reports of violence and attacks in unprotected areas. Thousands of children have been orphaned and are easy prey. Many bodies still lie under the rubble. In some places, relief goods are disappearing only to re-appear in the open market for sale. Over $500 million has poured in so far – but questions are being asked as to where this money has really gone. Rain and hail are hampering the relief efforts - relief arrives and then has had to pull out. It has started snowing in certain areas, making matters considerably worse. Winterized tents are desperately needed.
Phase 2 of the relief effort has started but some 4 million persons need shelter in the next 20 days. In another 20 days or so it will start to snow heavily and many of the quake-ravaged areas will become inaccessible. It is thus a desperate race against time to provide temporary shelter - tented communities for the next four months till winter passes. Only then can re-construction really begin.
There are regions that still have not received any aid or relief. Only a few organizations are working in the parts of Kashmir that are controlled by Pakistan, such as Edhi and RSPN. It is imperative that outside donors and agencies coordinate with several local relief organizations for maximum impact and reach; access to as many quake affected regions as possible, by mobilizing the local communities in the surrounding mountains as this is the only way relief can reach the needy and all the victims can be provided for. Ms. Hasan has adopted two villages in Mansehra District. Here, 10,000 persons need immediate shelter and no aid has reached them so far.
International media coverage is dropping and people are reluctant to give donations because they have been hearing that aid is not reaching the affected. This is true to a certain degree and that is why local organizations, with roots in the quake-ravaged communities, need our support.
Please support Pakistan's Earthquake Relief Operations
There is devastation, desolation and misery in the remote and inaccessible areas of Northern Pakistan and Kashmir. Both these mountainous regions are a maze of extremely narrow valleys and ravines. The earthquake and resultant landslides have broken, blocked with large stones or completely destroyed most roads and passages. The roads are narrow as it is, and only one vehicle can pass at a time. Access to the seriously quake ravaged areas is limited to foot only and that takes hours.
Horrifying and heartbreaking eye-witness accounts are pouring in; villages have disappeared; entire communities have perished; nothing is left but debris and rotting corpses, and the stench emanating from them has pervaded the atmosphere; thousands are unaccounted for especially children.
The districts of Bagh and Balakot and other surrounding areas have been completely leveled by the quake. Voices, mostly children, could initially be heard crying out for help from the underneath the rubble but they could not be dug out with just bare hands alone, and now there is just deathly silence.
Survivors have no food, water or medicine, so that they are scrounging around for whatever they can lay their hand on; many will die from injuries, hunger or commit suicide.
One survivor in Bagh has asked if the media can reach then why can’t aid? He has said that helicopters have been flying right over them but no aid has arrived yet. Survivors from remote villages high up in the surrounding mountains carry the injured down the steep, rocky mountainside all the way to Bagh in the hopes of finding relief but there is nothing except misery and the smell of death.
Rescue teams that have managed to reach these isolated towns are running low on supplies which cannot be replenished immediately and that is leading to further frustration, anger and chaos. Rain, hail and now snow are not helping the relief efforts.
The ONLY way to get humanitarian and medical aid to these people is to airdrop through helicopters. There are only 8 helicopters available. Pakistan’s topmost requirement is for helicopters to carry aid, heavy equipment and search and rescue teams.
The aim is to provide aid to the hardest hit and least accessible areas. The most needed relief items are: tents, blankets, first aid kits, medicines, and warm clothing.
The short-term goal was to provide relief, and the long-term goal is help rebuild. The gravity of the situation should be communicated to as many people as possible especially the media. The more positive and pro-active attention we can generate the better it is for those in distress – the situation is really dire.
Worst Affected Areas
North West Frontier Province: The worst affected areas are Balakot, Mansehra, Shangla, Haripur, Battagram, Allai, Kaghan and Oghi.
Kashmir: The worst affected areas in Rawalakot, Bagh, Pallandri, Hajira, Kotli (specific valleys which have not been accessed yet and where serious damage has also occurred are Sudangali, Forward Kahuta, Dir Kot, Chikar, Loonbagla, Sehri, Kaiki).
A List of Local Organizations: Earthquake Relief
1. Edhi Foundation
Donations are to be given only at Edhi Welfare Centers.
For the sake of security of your donation, for any donation exceeding Rs.2000/- please donate in the form of a cheque/ bank draft / pay order in the name of Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation, Account no.640, Muslim Commercial Bank, Bombay Bazar branch, Karachi or send your donation directly to the head office. In cities where there are branches of Muslim Commercial Bank, you can also deposit directly into the Foundation's accounts in these branches. Please call Edhi’s international offices for international banking/wire details for donation purposes.
USA Edhi International Foundation.
42-07 National Street
Corona, New York, 11368 U.S.A.
United Kingdom Edhi International Foundation,
7 Shakespeare Road,
Finchley, Central London N3 IXE,
Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation
257 Risebrough Circt
Markham, ON L3R 3J3
Phone: (905) 940-1453
Japan Edhi International Foundation,
RM 101 COPO Nikkei, 1-25 4-Chome,
Minami-ohi Shinagawa -KU-Tokyo 140 Japan.
Australia Abdul Sattar Edhi International Foundation,
Level 20, Picadilly tower,
133, Castlereagh street, Sydney 2000,
Tel: 02-2646499, 03-3767-7282
Fax: 03-3764-4395, 02-264-7337
Bangladesh Edhi International Foundation Inc,
2/2 Purana Palton, 3rd Floor,
Dhaka - 1000
2. The Rural Support Programs Network (RSPN)
Send Relief Goods to:
Rural Support Programs Network
No 7, Street 49, Sector F 6/4
*Please wrap the relief goods in plastic bags or sheets; list the items included and mark the package- “RSPN”
Individual donation of funds in US $ or UK pounds sterling for out of Pakistan-based contributors may be made into RSPN's account in Islamabad.
US $ Account No 75127407
Swift Code is APKKAISB
ABN Amro Bank, F 7 Markaz
Account name: Rural Support Programmes Network.
Pound Sterling Account No 5801-501437-054
Swift Code UNBLPKKAXXX
At Union Bank F 7
Account name: Rural Support Programmes Network.
RSPN will purchase most needed relief items in consultation with affected areas(through NRSP and SRSP) and utilize part of the funds to transport items purchased to villages. You can specify where you want things sent or leave this up to us.
The RSPN is the largest non-governmental network of rural development programmes in the country working with 72,000 Community Organizations in 73 of the country's 120 districts. Some of the worst affected districts of Pakistan during the recent disaster have strong RSP presence and outreach. The RSPs here are able to efficiently access, identify and provide support to destroyed villages and families, through Community Organizations that they already work with in hundreds of villages. The National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) has a strong presence in Pakistani Kashmir (worst affected NRSP areas are: Rawalakot, Bagh, Pallandari) and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) is present in the North West Frontier Province (worst affected SRSP areas are: Balakot, Battagram, Mansehra).
*Please note that RSPN, TCF and the Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation are working (in some capacity or the other) through the ngo ‘SUNGI’ to deliver relief goods and provide aid. Sungi was founded by Omar Ali Asghar Khan in 1989. It has a strong and deep-rooted presence in the areas of Abbottabad, Haripur, Battagram, Balakot, Muzaffarabad, and Islamabad and hence is working very efficiently to disburse aid the hardest hit areas.
3. Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation
Account Details: MCB Bank Ltd, Abbottabad, Pakistan
Send Relief Goods to:
Sungi Development Foundation
House No. 7-A, Street No. 10,
Sector F-8/3, Islamabad
Contact Person: Ali Asghar Khan - +92-300-856-5279
*Please wrap the relief goods in plastic bags or sheets; list the items included and mark the package- “SUNGI Development Foundation” or “The Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation”
US Dollar Account Number: 0585-12-02-542-2
Swift Code: MUCBPKKAA
Pak Rupee Donations:
Account Number: 0585-01-01-6019-3
4. Imran Khan Earthquake Relief Fund
Muslim Commercial Bank
Main Civic Center Branch, Islamabad
Account Number: 0613-01-01-3488-4
SWIFT Code: MUCBPKKAMCC
INTERNATIONAL ROUTING THROUGH:
AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK, NY, USA
SWIFT Code: AEIBUS33
NATWEST BANK PLC, LONDON, UK
SWIFT Code: NWBKGB2L
Send Relief Goods to:
Col. Yunus Ali Raza,
House-38, Street-5, Sector E-7
Contact Person: Col. Yunus Ali Raza- +92-51-282-8541
*Please wrap the relief goods in plastic bags or sheets; list the items included and mark the package –“ IMRAN KHAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND”
Shaukat Khannum Hospital has sent a team of doctors and nurses with medical supplies.
5. "Eqbal Ahmed/Quaid-e-Azam University Earthquake Relief Fund", set up by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DEPOSIT
1. Please make CHECKS payable to “EAF - EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUND”
2. Please PRINT OUT, SIGN and MAIL the following form, along with your check :
Enclosed is a donation of ________ to the EAF - Earthquake Relief Fund. I understand that this money will be used solely for the purpose of purchasing and distributing earthquake relief and rehabilitation supplies in Pakistan.
Name (please print): _________________________________________
3. Please mail your check and this form to:
Eqbal Ahmad Foundation
P.O. Box 222
Princeton, NJ 08542
The Eqbal Ahmad Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. Therefore, your donation is tax deductible. If you wish to receive a letter acknowledging your donation for tax purposes, please include your mailing address.
For tax purposes, all donations over $250 must include your name and mailing address. Should you have any questions about how to make or send a donation, please contact the Foundation's Vice President, Zia Mian, at email@example.com
Published: Sunday, October 23, 2005