Over $82,000 Raised for Pakistan Flood Victims at Embassy Fundraiser

ISTANBUL

More than 1.5 million Turkish liras (over $82,400) were pledged to flood victims in Pakistan on Thursday during a virtual fundraiser hosted by the country’s diplomatic mission in Ankara.

The embassy organized the event to collect donations for Pakistan where more than 33 million people are affected by unprecedented floods.

Muhammad Syrus Sajad Qazi, Pakistan’s top diplomat in Turkey, said the fundraiser came at a “critical time” when millions of Pakistanis were “facing grave danger due to some of the worst flooding”. .

He said flooding caused by above-normal rains killed 1,355 people and 1 million head of livestock, damaged 1.7 million homes and affected 2 million acres of arable land.

He thanked Türkiye for his support during difficult times and was moved as he showed gifts and donations sent to the embassy by Turks, including children who donated their own money.

Türkiye was one of the first responders to the situation in Pakistan and sent 11 planes and three trains of rescue and relief materials to help the victims.

Turkish lawmaker Ali Sahin offered his condolences to flood victims for “my precious Pakistan” and said Turks felt the “pain of the brothers and sisters of Pakistan”.

“Pakistani people are very powerful to overcome these painful days,” he said, adding that Turkey is closely monitoring the situation.

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sahin said two ministers visited Pakistan to “take measures and initiatives” to help alleviate the suffering of the victims.

He added that the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent (Turk Kizilay), as well as other Turkish NGOs, were working to help the victims.

The Turkish ministerial delegation visited Pakistan last Friday to express its solidarity and support for the South Asian country.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Environment Minister Murat Kurum and officials from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKI) visited the affected regions by floods, particularly the district of Badin in Sindh.

“Turkey has fully mobilized (its resources) since the floods (in Pakistan) started,” Sahin said. “(The) pain of Pakistan is the pain of Turkey! Pakistan is not alone.

Turks, including professionals, business people and members of the Pakistani community in Türkiye have pledged to donate to the campaign launched by the Embassy of Pakistan, raising cash and in-kind aid for the victims.

Qazi delivered special prayers for the victims last Friday at more than 90,000 mosques across Turkey.

In less than an hour, the official tally of donations from the Embassy stood at more than one million Turkish liras, in addition to the $30,000 from the attendees.

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Global Assistance to Pakistan to Help Mitigate Floods

Pakistan has received more than 50 humanitarian aid flights from Turkey, UAE, China, Qatar, Uzbekistan, France, Turkmenistan, Jordan, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

The UN and the Pakistani government launched a flash appeal on August 30 for $160 million to address the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and floods.

The death toll has reached 1,355 after 12 people have been 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 were affected by the floods, causing a staggering loss of $10 billion in damage to already weakened infrastructure.

Nearly 45% of cropland has already been inundated by floods, posing a serious threat to food security and adding to already soaring inflation.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents are also facing outbreaks of waterborne, skin and eye diseases, with health experts warning of higher death tolls from diarrhoea, typhoid, malaria, dengue fever, gastrointestinal infections and other than rains and floods.

The UN chief will arrive on Friday for a two-day visit to Pakistan as a sign of solidarity.

Antonio Guterres will meet with Pakistani leaders and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to the catastrophe caused by climate change.

He will also visit flood-affected areas, interact with displaced families and oversee UN humanitarian response work in support of government rescue and relief efforts for the millions of affected Pakistanis.

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