British Olympic Boxer Calls for Support to Quake Victims


British boxer Amir Khan will strike a blow this week for millions of survivors from last year’s devastating South Asian earthquake when he visits a camp of displaced people in Kashmir.
The 2004 Olympic silver medallist will visit residents of a camp near the city of Muzaffarabad on 6 April – the same place he visited on an earlier trip last December.
He will also look at the work relief agencies such as Oxfam International have been carrying out in the region and see for himself what more needs to be done.
"These people have lived through a massive earthquake and survived a winter of snow and rain camped in tents next to the Himalayas,” said the Bolton-based boxer on Sunday.
"We all need to work together to give them as much support, care and time as they need to rebuild their homes and their lives.”
Around three million people were affected by the October 8th earthquake, which registered 7.6 on the Richter scale. It is estimated that at least 73,000 people were killed directly and a greater number left injured.
More than 1800 aftershocks have rocked the region since last year’s disaster, with further tremors expected in the coming months. Landslides caused by aftershocks and rain are frequent and predicted to become particularly severe during the monsoon rains due in June and July.
Khan visits the devastated area at a crucial time almost six months after last year’s disaster. The Pakistani authorities have drafted a number of plans for reconstruction and are strongly encouraging thousands of displaced survivors to return to their places of origin.
"We have to make sure that if another major earthquake comes, people are better prepared,” says Khan. “That means building better and stronger homes and communities than they had before.”
At the age of 17, Khan became the youngest boxer since Floyd Patterson in 1952 to win an Olympic medal and Britain's youngest Olympian boxer since 1976 when he took the silver prize at Athens in 2004. Since that success, he has won the first six bouts of his professional career, five by knockout.
Oxfam International has provided water and sanitation facilities for over 540,000 men, women and children in the earthquake affected area. The organization has distributed winterised tents and transitional shelter kits for more than 350,000 people and reached over 60,000 people already with its livelihood program.
For more information contact Oxfam senior media officer Shaheen Chughtai on (92) 300 856 0632 or schughtai@oxfam.org.uk and Oxfam national media officer Daud Malik on (92) 300 856 9312 or dmalik@oxfam.org.uk


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