Over $82K raised for Pakistani flood victims at embassy fundraiser
Sep 09, 2022 - 10:24 AM
ISTANBUL (AA) – More than 1.5 million Turkish liras (over $82,400) was pledged Thursday to Pakistan flood victims during a virtual fundraiser by the country’s diplomatic mission in Ankara.
The embassy held the event to collect donations for Pakistan where more than 33 million are affected by unprecedented floods.
Muhammad Syrus Sajad Qazi, Pakistan’s top diplomat in Türkiye, said the fundraiser was held at a “critical juncture” as millions of Pakistanis were “facing grave danger on account of some of worst floods.”
He said floods from more than normal rains killed 1,355 people and 1 million livestock, damaged 1.7 million houses and affected 2 million acres of arable land.
He thanked Türkiye for support during the difficult times and was emotional as he showed gifts and donations sent to the embassy by Turks, including children who gave their own money.
Türkiye was one of the first responders to the situation in Pakistan and has sent 11 planes and three trainloads of rescue and relief material to help victims.
Turkish lawmaker Ali Sahin offered condolences to flood victims for “my precious Pakistan” and said Turks feel the “pain of brothers and sisters from Pakistan.”
“People of Pakistan are very powerful to overcome these painful days,” he said, adding that Türkiye is closely following the situation.
On the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sahin said two ministers visited Pakistan to “take actions and initiatives” to help mitigate the suffering of victims.
He added the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and Turkish Red Crescent (Turk Kizilay), along with other Turkish NGOs, were working to help victims.
The Turkish ministerial delegation headed to Pakistan last Friday to express solidarity and support for the South Asian country.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Environment Minister Murat Kurum and the heads of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI) visited flood-hit regions, including the Badin district of Sindh.
“Türkiye fully mobilized (its resources) since the beginning of floods (in Pakistan),” said Sahin. “(The) Pain of Pakistan is pain of Türkiye! Pakistan is not alone.”
Turks, including professionals, businessmen and members of the Pakistani community in Türkiye pledged to donate to the campaign launched by the Pakistani Embassy, collecting aid in cash and kind for the victims.
Qazi said special prayers for victims last Friday in more than 90,000 mosques across Türkiye.
In less than one hour, the embassy’s official count of donations was more than 1 million Turkish liras, in addition to $30,000 by participants.
Global assistance to Pakistan to aid flood mitigation
Pakistan has received more than 50 humanitarian assistance flights from Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, China, Qatar, Uzbekistan, France, Turkmenistan, Jordan, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Food Program.
The UN and the Pakistani government issued a flash appeal Aug. 30 for $160 million to cope with the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and flooding.
The death toll reached 1,355 after 12 people were killed in the past 24 hours, while 12,722 people have been injured in rain and flood-related incidents across the country since mid-June.
More than 33 million of the country’s 220 million people have been affected by the floods, causing a staggering loss of $10 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.
Almost 45% of the cropland has already been inundated by floods, posing a serious threat to food security and adding to already skyrocketing inflation.
Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents are also dealing with outbreaks of waterborne, skin and eye diseases, with health experts warning of a higher number of deaths from diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, dengue, gastrointestinal and other infections than from rains and floods.
The head of the UN will arrive Friday for a two-day visit to Pakistan to show solidarity.
Antonio Guterres will meet Pakistani leadership and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to the catastrophe caused by climate change.
He will also visit flood-hit areas and interact with displaced families and oversee the UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s rescue and relief efforts for millions of affected Pakistanis.