Inspiration Pakistan: How Can We Support Displaced Pakistanis

Posted on May 17, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, >Owais Mughal, Disasters, Society
28 Comments
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Adil Najam and Owais Mughal

First, a word of thanks to our readers for responding to our call for supporting the nearly one million Pakistanis who have been displaced by the fighting in Swat and adjoining regions. Knowing that many of our readers are already contributing very significantly in many different ways through many sources, we had initially set a target of raising $1000. We reached that target in just 16 hours. We matched that contribution with another $1000 from our advertising revenue (which means that too comes from ATP readers) and have sent $2000 directly to Edhi Foundation in Pakistan for their relief efforts. The contributions have come from Pakistanis as well as non-Pakistanis and in all sizes (ranging from $5 to $300). We are deeply appreciative of all who have contributed, and also to all who have encouraged the efforts with their words and good wishes.

On your advice, we have kept the channel open and as of this writing our readers have now contributed $2000 already (i.e., $1000 addition to the original $1000; the widget may show less since some credit card payments have to wait to be cleared before they show up). Since the need is great and likely to be longer-term, we are going to keep the widget live at least this week and will be raising the ‘target’ incrementally. On our part, we at ATP are committed to sending in more of our Ad revenue to this cause and we do hope that readers will also keep on giving to this cause, through whatever means that are most appropriate for them.

We write today with three specific requests:

  1. First, if you can, please do consider giving whatever amount you can to provide relief to the nearly million displaced Pakistanis still pouring into refugee camps. If our collection is of help, consider giving here. Otherwise, choose any of the many options that are available for your generosity. But, please, do not hold back in this time of great need for a great many Pakistanis.
  2. Second, do please spread the word to your friends – both Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis – of how great the need is and do encourage them to also support in whatever way they can; through whatever means they can.
  3. Third, do please share with us and our readers your views on the various ways by which we can support the relief efforts. Not only on the various avenues of sending our monetary and material support, but also possibilities for non-monetary assistance.

The third is of practical importance right now. There are many people struggling to find out what the best way to support the relief efforts is. We ourselves sent the first tranche of support to Edhi Foundation because it was mentioned by a number of readers. We are now considering UNHCR for the same reason. We are also considering supporting the efforts of those in Pakistan who are individually packaging relief goods and planning to personally take them to relief camps. There is also the option of directly supporting the provision of needed medical supplies.

There are, of course, many aspects of such a choice that are important – giving to institutions vs. individual giving; giving to Pakistani vs. international organizations; meeting immediate vs. longer-term needs, etc. These are important things to think about. Please help us think through them.

But as we do so, let us not let our latent cynicism turn into inaction. Let us not make our search for the ‘perfect’ place to give to become an excuse of not acting at all in this time of great need. Indeed, different options will work better for different people. But there are, in fact, many many good options because there are many many good institutions and individuals who are doing the work that needs to be done. This is the time to give them a hand. Please do join us in doing so.

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28 responses to “Inspiration Pakistan: How Can We Support Displaced Pakistanis”

  1. Adil Najam says:

    Dear Freinds, thank you – once again – for your generosity of heart.

    We have now raised $3000 directly from reader contributions (actually more now, please do keep them coming since the need has not gone away).

    We have now added a total of $2000 ($1000 + $1000) from ATP advertising (so those Ads you may have clicked by choice or by mistake have come in handy).

    So, the total till now is $5000+.

    A first tranche of $2000 was sent to Edhi Foundation in Pakistan.

    A second tranche of $2000 will now be sent to UNHCR.

    We are trying to get a third tranche of $1000 directly to IDPs in under-served camps, through more direct efforts.

    We will keep the collection going. We urge you to keep your generosity going – whether through our window or any other means (the good news is that there are many means). Please also keep us and other readers informed of good options and avenues to get support to IDPs.

    And, again, thank you so much.

  2. Farrukh says:

    Extremely impressive work that you are doing. And hats off to your readers for their generosity.

  3. shaista says:

    Vision21 is collecting donations of medicine and first aid materials for starting a mobile dispensary for the displaced residents of Swat and Malakand. Our team is visiting the pharmaceutical companies, medical stores and hospitals/clinics in Rawalpindi & Islamabad to collect medicine and contact volunteer doctors to work with us.
    Please contact us if you want to give any of the following items, donate money, refer to the volunteer doctors or help in any other way.

    1. Water purification tablets
    2. Life saving drugs
    3. Vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza
    4. Pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, kinz
    5. Antibiotics e.g. tetnus, amoxil, gentamycin
    6. IV cannulas
    7. IV Drip sets
    8. IV drips: normal saline, ringerlactate
    9. Local anesthetics (injections)
    10. Cotton bandages, cotton
    11. Surgical instruments: e.g. needle holders, forceps, and tweezers
    12. Suturing materials, Skin staples
    13. Energizers for children and sick (dried milk)
    14. ORS
    15. Mosquito Sprays etc.

    please visit our Blog for further details:
    http://awaam.wordpress.com/idps-update/help-idps/

  4. Arifa says:

    By the way, I hope you will get to 50 contributors and your goal soon.

  5. Arifa says:

    I also think that giving directly is not a good idea. A well meaning friend of mine is making these packages and for provisions for just 5 days it is costing her Rs. 3500-Rs. 4000 plus the cost of transportation, etc.

    That seems very very ineffecient given what the average ‘good’ wage for workers is. It may actually be better for her to give people money since they can fulfil their needs better that way. But best of all is giving to institutions that that are committed to providing long term support. In addition to those already mentioned, I hear that Pakistan Red Crescent Society is also doing good work.

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