Red Cross Movement warns of deepening crisis in Pakistan

OTTAWA, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - The Canadian Red Cross is deeply concerned about the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the floods in Pakistan. As the scale of the disaster continues to worsen, the gap between needs on the ground and available resources is widening. With 14 million people affected, 720,000 homes damaged or destroyed and no end to the persistent monsoon rains, millions of people will be reliant on food aid and emergency relief in the coming months.

"The time to act is now - this is a disaster of unimaginable proportions," says Hossam Elsharkawi, director of emergencies and recovery with the Canadian Red Cross.  "Together, alongside our partners in the Red Cross Movement, we continue to scale up emergency response operations."

To date, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PCRS) has distributed relief to over 250,000 people and medical teams have reached an additional 30,000. Due to massive needs, the PRCS is increasing response efforts to meet the urgent needs of over 2 million people. 

In support of response activities, the Canadian Red Cross is conducting a major distribution of relief items in one of the worst affected areas on Sunday and has already provided $2.5 million, but hopes the donor community continues to contribute.

To date, the Canadian Red Cross has raised $2.25 million in support of operations including $1 million from the Government of Ontario, $700,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency and $350,000 from generous Canadians.

"Despite the response from Government and generous Canadians much more is still needed to help communities reach a full recovery," adds Elsharkawi. "It's not just about saving people's lives today, we need to plan for their long-term recovery tomorrow. To achieve this, we urgently need the support of Canadian donors."

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may give online at href="">, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Pakistan Floods 2010" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and over 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.


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