Humanitarian crisis in Pakistan: UNICEF says it is “probably the biggest emergency on the planet today”August 18, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, August 18th, 2010- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) urges all Canadians to donate generously to help the relief efforts in Pakistan, following the monsoon rains and massive floods that devastated the country over two weeks ago.
“The extent of
damage caused by these floods is beyond anything we can imagine,” stated Salam
Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “The UN has said that the number of people
affected from the floods could exceed the combined total of those from the 2004
Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti
earthquake. These are not just cold facts, but behind each of these statistics
is a child who lost her parents or a family that lost their home and
livelihood. We implore all Canadians to open up their hearts and wallets and
not be blind to the suffering of so many innocent millions.”
According to the United Nations, at least 1,600 have been reported dead, while 20 million people have been affected by the flooding and over 6 million have been left homeless. The floodwaters have also destroyed thousands of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and crop fields. Recent estimates indicate that one-fifth of Pakistan is still under water. The water-born diseases further threaten the health and safety of millions, particularly children. Despite the critical need of emergency relief funds, international support has been lacking. The UN has launched an appeal for $459 million in donations, but only 35% of this amount has thus far been received or committed.
“While we thank the Canadian government for upping its pledge from $2 million to $30 million, we ask the government to go a step further in encouraging all Canadians to also personally donate, by matching individual donations to charities dollar-for-dollar, as it did for the Haiti earthquake crisis. There is no time to waste, as millions are in dire need of food, clean water, shelter and emergency medical aid. Canada, as well as the international community, must answer the voiceless call of the suffering and not hold back from the world’s time of need.”
MCM would like to thank all Canadians who have already donated to the relief efforts and reminds everyone to give thanks for their blessings and say a prayer for the victims.
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
Fax: (514) 747-9139
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 200,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 900,000 in Canada and 1.7 billion worldwide.