Doctors Appeal for Urgent Donations


Washington, DC: A group of doctors from Georgetown University Hospital and other areas is appealing for urgent donations to send vital supplies to the quake-hit area.
The 25-doctors group, which returned last week from Pakistan after making an urgent trip there, says in a note to the National Council of Pakistani Americans (www.ncpa.info) that tones of important items are decaying at New York’s JFK airport due to the non-availability of cargo space on PIA flights.
“A HUMANITARIAN disaster of unimaginable proportions now stares Pakistan in the face. Unless things move fast, no less than 2.3 million people could face starvation in Azad Kashmir and the NWFP. The earlier figure of one million has been raised by the World Food Program to 2.3 in the light of the revised assessments made by UNICEF and Oxfam. The appeal by the WFP coincides with a grim warning by the UN Emergency Coordinator, Mr. Jan Vandemoortele, who says it is now or never. ‘We will not have a second chance,’ he said while pleading for a fresh injection of 250 million dollars,” says the doctors’ note to NCPA.
During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the group performed over 400 surgeries on the unfortunate victims of the earthquake. A few American nurses from Georgetown Hospital also accompanied the doctors.
“While more donations are awaited over 100 tones of relief goods are already collected for the earthquake victims at the PIA Cargo Office at JFK, and more is still pouring in. However due to the overwhelming nature of this relief operation all the goods have not been delivered to Pakistan and a major portion of it is still here at JFK. Though PIA is doing its best to accommodate this and has increased its lifting capacity, time is running out for the survivors,” says Dr. Khalid Athar, a Georgetown Hospital physician and one of the main coordinators of the group.
Requesting urgent donations from fellow Americans, Dr. Athar says, “W have offered to the Federal Relief Commissioner to send the medical supplies, tents, blankets and warm clothes collected at JFK by sea shipment ASAP. Though it will take over 3 weeks to arrive at its destination, however, it will still be of great help and also clear the PIA warehouses for further collection of donations which will be badly needed for this long and hazardous winter.”
The National Council of Pakistani Americans urges people to respond to this request immediately. For donations and inquiries please contact: Dr. Khalid Athar OR Sadia Khalid Media Consultant/Relief Coordinator, Washington, DC E-mail: sadia_faraway@yahoo.com Tel: 914-320-9560 Or send emails to NCPA at info@ncpa.info. NCPA is a Washington-based public education group. It has helped mobilize efforts for more US assistance for the quake-ravaged areas.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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