Ambassador’s Letter to the Community

Dear members of the community,

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the compassionate response expressed by the community in the aftermath of Pakistan’s devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake has struck unprecedented and widespread damage on both rural and urban communities alike, taking lives and forever breaking up homes and families. Over 41,000 Pakistanis have already tragically lost their lives in the disaster, while at least 67,000 are severely injured and 3.3 million are left homeless.
Despite the immense sorrow overtaking Pakistan in the wake of the disaster, Pakistani morale has been strong in contributing to the effort. Courageous Pakistani volunteers from far-reaching parts of the country, many of whom were fasting, mobilized in never-before-seen forces to help their fellow countrymen and women affected by the disaster. The Government has deployed 50,000 troops for the rescue and relief operation and is working tirelessly to save lives.
The world community, too, has lent its support, donating hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and equipment.
I am particularly proud of our community here, Pakistanis in the United States, who have given and continue to give generous support. Community members from across the country have stepped forward to bring relief to their homeland by donating from their own pockets, organizing successful fundraisers, mobilizing communities of activists, and for some, even traveling to Pakistan to volunteer on the ground. Never before have we seen such strength or compassion within our community.
But even as we see the successful results of such energy and vigor, the cost of recovery and caring for the 3.3 million homeless are far from met. With the search and rescue mission over, we begin to focus on recovery and rebuilding, which will cost billions of dollars and may take five to ten years to complete. Much more support is needed to efficiently provide care in both the short and long-term efforts. Long-term recovery requires the demanding task of rebuilding infrastructure, including communications systems, buildings, transportation systems, homes, and whole communities.
While supplies are difficult to send and deliver to Pakistan at the moment, I urge you to donate to the President’s Relief Fund, a massive and accountable government effort with the infrastructure to rebuild communities and bring change to those who courageously battle on in Pakistan.
The President’s Relief Fund has already collected substantial sums. It has also provided immediate on the ground assistance and supplies, and is currently working to secure more tents for those without shelter. The Fund will also be providing monetary assistance and compensation. Be assured that the President’s Relief Fund will continue to work toward reconstructing Pakistan and as promised by the President, the monies will be used transparently.
Please visit the Embassy website at http://embassyofpakistan.org to find out more about the relief effort and how to donate to the President’s Relief Fund.
These are trying times for every Pakistani. Thank you for your help and ongoing support, which have been fundamental to the relief effort. At this crucial time, it has become our added responsibility to ensure that we do not lose momentum. Please continue to donate and encourage others to do the same in order to rebuild communities and homes in the wake of immeasurable devastation.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,
( Jehangir Karamat )
Ambassador



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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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