The Disasters Emergency Committee says that for the first time in 45 years, it has seen donations rise rather than fall during the second week of an appeal.
DEC officials and member agencies have been telling the media today that the generosity of the British public, who have so far contributed £30 million to the Pakistan Floods Appeal, further shames governments and the international community, who have been tardy in their response to a catastrophic emergency with massive long-term implications.
The unprecedented pattern of giving, long after the Pakistan appeal broadcasts on 5 August 2010, was a reflection of growing public awareness of the full scale of the tragedy, the DEC said.
Even the extraordinary giving to the DEC Haiti Appeal saw huge initial donations decline steeply in week two.
The continuing high level of donations is critically important, says the Disasters Emergency Committee, because 20 million people in Pakistan are now affected and there is a serious threat to survivors from water-borne diseases.
DEC member agencies and their partners have so far helped over 800,000 people. The Committee consists of Action Aid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, and World Vision.
Disasters Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley commented: “It is sometimes harder to fully appreciate the impact of disasters such as floods that take longer to develop. However, the response of UK public to the floods in Pakistan has been extraordinary. We have never seen anything like it in our 45 year history."
He continued: “This is a tragedy unfolding in slow motion with new areas still being flooded and the threat of deadly water borne disasters stalking millions of survivors."
“The full impact of the disaster will only be revealed when flood waters finally recede and the extent [of the] devastation is uncovered," said Gormley.
By comparison with the Pakistan Appeal, donations to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal declined by 28 per cent in the second week of the appeal; Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam Appeal donations by 62 per cent; Myanmar donations by 54 per cent and Tsunami donations by 24 per cent.
Donations to the Pakistan Floods Appeal increased by 18 per cent in the second week and have yet to begin dropping.
The disaster has already claimed the lives of 1,600 people and is estimated to have affected 20-25 million people, according to the United Nations and international NGOs.
The DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal is separate from the pledges being sought by the UN, which is hoping to secure funds from governments worldwide.
A summary of all other DEC Member Agency efforts can be found at: http://www.dec.org.uk/item/442
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