Durbin: Victims of Pakistan Flooding Need Our Help

[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged area businesses and members of the public to assist relief efforts for the victims of severe flooding in Pakistan following a meeting with members of Chicagoland’s Pakistani-American community over the weekend.


“The devastation in Pakistan is clear in the images of entire towns under water as families flee in search of higher ground,” Durbin said. “The resulting humanitarian crisis threatens the lives of thousands of Pakistanis who are in desperate need of clean water, sanitation, food and shelter.”


The U.S. Department of State has established a Pakistan Relief Fund to aid victims of the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Contributions can be made at www.state.gov/pakistanrelief or a $10 donation can be sent by texting “FLOOD” to 27722.


The State Department has also released a list of humanitarian organizations conducting relief efforts in Pakistan:


Donation Phone #: 1-800-435-7669
Website: http://www.redcross.org


Donation Phone #:
Website: http://savethechildren.org


Donation Phone #:
Website: http://oxfamamerica.org


Donation Phone #:
Website: http://www.theIRC.org


Donation Phone #:
Website: http://www.merlin-usa.org


Donation Phone #:
Website: http://www.acted.org/en/support-us


The State Department website also notes that a list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for flood response efforts in Pakistan can be found at www.interaction.org.


The flooding has destroyed an estimated one million homes, displaced more than five million Pakistanis, and left more than 20 million in need of basic emergency services. United Nations officials say scaled of the disaster now tops the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and this year’s Haiti earthquake combined.


The World Health Organization estimates six million people—over half of them children—face the threat of cholera and dysentery, as well as typhoid and hepatitis. The floods were sparked by torrential monsoon rains that began in late July, causing rivers to swell dramatically over their banks in wide swaths of the country.


“Generosity toward those facing humanitarian disaster is a hallmark of American foreign policy,” said Durbin, who most recently visited Pakistan in 2006 and 2007. “We also have a national security interest in restoring stability for the people of Pakistan.”


Last week at a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced additional American financial support for the relief operation and urged the international community to also offer greater assistance to the Pakistan. The United States has already pledged a total of $150 million in emergency assistance—more than any other country in the world—and is working with NATO forces to help deliver humanitarian supplies and evacuate those from the most dangerous areas.