Over $82,000 raised for Pakistan flood victims in Turkiye

‘People of Pakistan are very powerful to overcome these painful days,’ Turkish lawmaker says as cash donations pour in


Anadolu Agency September 09, 2022
A girl carries her sibling as she walks through stranded flood water, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Nowshera. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISTANBUL:

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

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

Muhammad Syrus Sajad Qazi, Pakistan’s top diplomat in Turkiye, said the fundraiser was held at a “critical juncture” as millions of Pakistanis were “facing grave danger on account of some of worst floods.”

He said that floods from rains killed 1,355 people and one million livestock, damaged 1.7 million houses and affected two million acres of arable land.

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

Read more: Pakistan most impacted country despite minimal contribution to climate change: UN chief

Turkiye was one of the first responders to the situation in Pakistan and has sent 11 planes and three trainloads of rescue and relief material to help victims.

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

“People of Pakistan are very powerful to overcome these painful days,” he said, adding that Turkiye is closely following the situation.

On the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sahin said two ministers visited Pakistan to “take actions and initiatives” to help mitigate the suffering of victims.

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

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

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Environment Minister Murat Kurum and the heads of the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI) visited flood-hit regions, including the Badin district of Sindh.

“Turkiye fully mobilised (its resources) since the beginning of floods (in Pakistan),” said Sahin. “(The) Pain of Pakistan is pain of Turkiye! Pakistan is not alone.”

Turks, including professionals, businessmen and members of the Pakistani community in Turkiye pledged to donate to the campaign launched by the Pakistani Embassy, collecting aid in cash and kind for the victims.

Qazi said special prayers for victims last Friday in more than 90,000 mosques across Turkiye.

In less than one hour, the embassy's official count of donations was more than one million Turkish liras, in addition to $30,000 by participants.

​​Global assistance to Pakistan to aid flood mitigation

Pakistan has received more than 50 humanitarian assistance flights from Turkiye, the United Arab Emirates, China, Qatar, Uzbekistan, France, Turkmenistan, Jordan, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Food Program.

The UN and the Pakistani government issued a flash appeal Aug. 30 for $160 million to cope with the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and flooding.

The death toll reached 1,355 after 12 people were 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.

Also read: Flood-ravaged Pakistan bracing for secondary disasters

More than 33 million of the country's 220 million people have been affected by the floods, causing a staggering loss of $10 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.

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

Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents are also dealing with outbreaks of waterborne, skin and eye diseases, with health experts warning of a higher number of deaths from diarrhoea, typhoid, malaria, dengue, gastrointestinal and other infections than from rains and floods.

The head of the UN will arrive Friday for a two-day visit to Pakistan to show solidarity.

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

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

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