to the Community
members of the community,
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
( Jehangir Karamat )