With the onset of a particularly rough monsoon season, I’m sure many of you will be aware of the floods that have devastated parts of Pakistan. 1,400 people are estimated to have died, with three million displaced according to latest figures from Unicef. With a number of Pakistani constituents and British-born Pakinstanis living here in south Manchester, I fear some of them may well have family members in Pakistan who have been affected by the floods. This latest blog post is an appeal to help the British Red Cross raise funds to carry out the necessary humanitarian work that is urgently required.
I am appalled by the scenes shown in the BBC News report, and have already donated as a result. Across the flood-savaged regions, food, shelter and medical aid are all urgently required. I am concerned that rescue efforts are being hampered by destroyed infrastructure and by fears that the heavy rain will return. The British Red Cross have volunteers on the ground doing their very best to help people, and I would urge constituents to give what they can to this urgent cause.
Later this month I will be travelling to nearby Bangladesh for two weeks to help VSO, and I have been told their peak monsoon season will occur during my stay. Heavy flooding is a persistent issue in Bangladesh and locals could face the same problems that Pakistan is now facing. Should this be the case, any surplus funds raised by the British Red Cross will be going towards other humanitarian disasters, including helping Bangladeshis protect themselves from the effects of any heavy flooding.
If you would like to donate online to the British Red Cross, please click here. If you would prefer to donate by phone, please call their 24-hour donation line on 0845 054 7206.
UPDATE: The Department for International Development (DFID) has just announced that, through Unicef, it will be providing£5mn of aid for those affected. This is in addition to 2,000 all-weather tents that will be distributed by Save the Children, to provide shelter to those who lost their houses in the floods.