Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oct 9, 2005 4:09 PM

i just got back from an earthquake relief meeting for the TCF Relief Fund. the media's disaster coverage only tells a small part of the full story. the death toll by official accounts is ~ 30,000 in kashmir alone. we have people on the ground in mansehra, balakot & muzaffarabad - the situation is extremely grim, with tens of thousands dead and thousands more displaced & homeless. as reported by news agencies, entire villages have crumbled. our immediate focus must be on how to help those who can still be helped.

- immediate short-term goals involve getting funds for tents, blankets, non-perishable food (rice / dry milk / daal / salt / aata) and medicines for 20,000+ people. this involves a transparent fundraising effort, procurement of necessary goods in bulk & subsequent transportation to the north. we are also coordinating w/ various NGOs already present in the affected areas and liasing the distribution effort to ensure that the maximum affectees are relieved. requests for helicopters are in and we are trying to further the cause in azad kashmir beyond muzaffarabad, where all the roads have effectively been washed away by land slides.

we've actually made incredible progress already in just 36 hours, which needs your help to be sustained -

- 2500 tents & 4500 sleeping bags being flown into karachi (and subsequently to the north) free from dubai via PIA
- 600+ tents and blankets being sent via PIA / AirBlue tomorrow to islamabad
- a team of 10-12 surveyors / engineers & medics is being mobilized to get an eye witness account of the real on-ground needs
- top medical practitioners including surgeons, pediatricians and GPs have committed to setting up camps in the north to facilitate the effort.

- the relief HQ has been set up in karachi for overall management / logistics / fundraising / finance

TCF Relief Fund
9th Floor NIC Building
Abbassi Shaheed Road
Karachi, Pakistan
(phone numbers to follow)

- camp offices are being set up in islamabad and rawalpindi for receiving / warehousing / logistics / distribution / monitoring (including internal & external audits) / reporting (contact / address details to follow)

long term (12+ months) goals involve re-building / constructing permanent, disaster-proof homes for an estimated 5,000 families. plans and designs for previous efforts in the northern areas by aga khan foundation, etc. are already being incorporated and the task of coming up w/ cost effective & safe designs is being undertaken by the top professionals at the institute of architects pakistan, the institute of consulting engineers and the institute of builders and developers. re-building these villages is an extremely challenging task and requires full support to see it through.

here's how you can help:

- donations can be made to special TCF relief accounts being setup online at www.thecitizensfoundation.org/relief_fund and at http://www.tcfusa.org/events/EQReliefFund.htm for those in the US. the accounts & websites are being created as we speak, so look out for info on the updated website within the next 24 hours. in the meanwhile, please spread the word about this effort. more to follow...

2 Comments:

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