Tutu and Elders back urgent action to aid Pakistan

By staff writers
19 Aug 2010

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and the Elders group of former statespeople want people and governments to give “more quickly and generously” to flood-stricken Pakistan.

The Elders, a network of distinguished independent leaders, have warned that the situation in Pakistan is deteriorating rapidly.

They said said the scale of the flooding affecting nearly 4 million people was “disastrous”. The United Nations has said that the long-term impact of the flooding is likely to impact a further 20-25 million.

Dr Tutu appealed both to governments, communities and individuals to give as generously as they did in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day South Asian tsunami, and also the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.

“I urge people all around the world to hold the people of Pakistan in their hearts and in the heart of the human family at this time,” the Nobel Peace laureate declared.

He continued: “Let us not for a moment allow ourselves to feel that some are less deserving of our help than others. It is time for us to stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan. Please give generously and help to share their enormous burden as they struggle to recover.”

The call for more donations comes as the United Nations General Assembly meets today to discuss Pakistan’s humanitarian emergency.

The UN launched a US$460 million emergency appeal at the beginning of last week. So far, however, just half of that amount has been pledged by the international community.

Aid and development agencies, including the global ACT Alliance of church groups, and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in the UK, are warning that the amount of money that has come in so far will not last more than a few months.

To make a donation to the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, visit http://www.dec.org.uk or donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word GIVE to 70707

[Ekk/3]

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