Saturday, 14 August 2010

Pakistan: Labour Relief Campaign launches appeal for millions affected by floods

[Readers can also donate via the Australian trade unions’ aid agency APHEDA at] 
August 7, 2010 – More than 12 million people are suffering from floods in Pakistan. Please donate to the Labour Relief Campaign to help people of Pakistan facing the worst-ever floods in its history. Torrential rains have unleashed flash floods in different parts of the country in the last three weeks. Levies have broken, leaving the people exposed to flood water.

More than 650,000 houses have collapsed, mainly in villages. Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed due to flood water. Livestock, household goods, clothes, shoes and other items have been destroyed. Residents of villages are without drinkable water, food, shelter and in need of clothes.

In particular, the situation is dire for children and women in desperate need of food and clothing. Disease is spreading fast due to the lack of drinkable water. In particular, flu, fever, diarrhea and cholera have been noted and are spreading.

The Pakistan government’s response has made matters worse. It failed to act immediately, leaving tens of thousands of people without aid. Only after 24 hours did it arrive at the makeshift camps with paltry amounts of food distribute. The gap between the food being distributed and the large number of people desperate to eat has led to fighting breaking out, making matters even worse for these desperate people.

Despite very little coverage in the media, the fact remains that the situation in Baluchistan is just as bad as in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and western and southern Punjab. As usual, also, the people of Baluchistan are not at the top of the government’s priority list.

The situation is turning worse with heavy rains starting August 6 in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.

The Labour Education Foundation, Labour Party of Pakistan, National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers’ Help Line and the Progressive Youth Front have set up Labour Flood Relief Camps in Lahore and so far have collected more than 300,000 rupees. Rs110,000 have already been sent to Baluchistan and more than Rs200,000 are on way to southern Punjab to help flood victims.

We appeal to our friends and organisations in Pakistan and abroad for donations of a monetary kind or in the form of drinking water, clothes (new), shoes and medicine.

For further information please contact:

Khalid Mahmood, director Labour Education Foundation, ground floor, 25-A Davis Road, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: Telephone: 0092 42 6303808, 0092 42 6315162. Fax: 0092 42 6271149. Mobile: 0092 321 9402322.

If you wish to transfer funds, the details of the account for sending money to the LRC are: Account: Labour Education Foundation; account number: 01801876; Route: Please advise and pay to Citi Bank, New York, USA Swift CITI US 33 for onward transfer to BANK ALFALAH LTD., KARACHI, PAKISTAN A/C No. 36087144 and for final transfer to BANK ALFALAH LTD., LDA PLAZA, KASHMIR ROAD, LAHORE, PAKISTAN Swift: ALFHPKKALDA for A/C No. 01801876 OF LABOUR EDUCATION FOUNDATION.

Australia readers can donate via the Australian trade unions aid agency APHEDA at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the Weekend Herald yesterday, August 14 ,2010:

Despite a huge standing army and a nuclear weapons programme which they are able to spend billions on, it seems that the Pakistan state is all but paralysed by this natural disaster - so much so, that according to this report from the Independent which was reprinted in the Herald, the leading organisation in delivering aid, is a banned Islamic charity condemned by the UN as a "terrorist organisation".

The boat which the Independent accompanied flew the black-and-white banner of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the supposedly banned Islamic charity, accused by the United Nations Security Council of being a front for militants who allegedly planned and carried out the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.
In this natural disaster, as in several before, the Lahore-based group has played a central role delivering aid, rescuing people and providing emergency medical help. With the Army and civilian rescue teams overstretched by the disaster - now estimated to affect a quarter of the country - the charity's efforts have been embraced by the public. When they deliver food or rescue somebody, they ensure that people know who is providing this help.

"We are taking out food to people who are stranded," said Navid Umar, a friendly but serious young man from Lahore, who was the group's leader. "We're doing 25 trips a day."

While the men from Jamaat were at the forefront of the rescue efforts, they were not the only ones helping the needy of central Punjab. Civilian rescue teams were in attendance, as were the Army and, rather incongruously, a group of adult, uniformed Scouts, complete with scarves and woggles.