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Supplies desperately needed for flood victims

Supplies desperately needed for flood victims

Supplies of blankets, clothes and medicines are urgently needed. People are suffering from chronic skin diseases as they are forced to wear the same contaminated clothing everyday. Antibiotics for outbreaks of cholera and gastroenteritis are desperately required.

As Pakistan continues to face a disaster of an unimaginable magnitude, the United Nations has warned that up to 3.5 million children are at risk from water-borne diseases. Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs fears that the country is on the brink of a “second wave of death” unless more donor funds materialize. The United Nations has called for $462 million for relief efforts, just 35% of this amount had been mobilized.   According to UN agencies, the inability to attract funding for this disaster has been due to ‘donor fatigue.’ The United Nations has expressed concern over the world’s lukewarm response, stating that the international community has failed to grasp the extent of the catastrophe. Gary Younge in the Guardian newspaper recently commented that in today’s world, “distressed assets are more valued than distressed people.”

The damage to the agricultural sector has been estimated at $3 billion which is 20% of our GDP. 17 million acres (30% of total farmland)  is said to be submerged with 20 million people (13% of the population) displaced.

The fragility of the economy at this terrible time poses great concerns for Pakistan. The country registered a current account deficit of $635 million during July 2010, the first month of the current fiscal year. According to the State Bank, this represents a decline of 1.5% or $10 million compared to July 2009 which witnessed a deficit of $645 million.

Afflicted by heavy rains, climate has been driven to extremes by global warming with floods in Pakistan and unprecedented heat waves in Russia. The ravages of climate change are being suffered mainly by the poor developing countries, while the developed nations continue to dither on the reality of climate change. Ironically these countries have historically been the principal polluters as their industrial revolutions came about far earlier than most developing countries. The melting of giant ice masses is considered to be the most important source of sea level rise in the 21st century.

Besides sending cash to charity organizations, you can support by providing the following commodities.
Clothing: clothes of various sizes, beddings, shoes
Utensils: jerricans (large plastic cans that hold 20 liters of water or other liquids), crockery, buckets, torches,
Toiletries: sanitary pads, tissues, soaps, dettol (antibacterial cleaners), towels
Food: rice, sugar, flour, onions, potatoes, cooking oil, tea, milk (tetra packs or powder), safe drinking water, cooked food
Medicines: water purification tablets. life saving drugs, vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza, pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, IV cannulas IV drip sets, cotton bandages.

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