Media Prima, NSTP appeal for humanitarian aid for flood victims in Pakistan
PETALING JAYA, 19 August 2010 – Malaysia's media giants Media Prima Berhad ("Media Prima") and the New Straits Times Press (M) ("NSTP") Berhad initiated a joint appeal today to raise funds for UNICEF's humanitarian operations to protect families who have lost homes, livelihoods and family members in Pakistan’s deadly monsoonal floods.
The Pakistan Disaster Relief Fund was launched by Datuk Johan Jaaffar, Chairman of Media Prima and Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar, Chairman of NSTP here today. It was witnessed by His Excellency Mr. Khalid Masood, the High Commissioner for Pakistan in Malaysia and His Excellency Mr. Hans Olsen, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei.
Fund to alleviate suffering
"The emergency situation in Pakistan is massive and the need for disaster relief is urgent and immediate. Media Prima seeks to alleviate the burden of those affected by the ravaging floods with the launching of this fund,” said Datuk Johan.
“Media Prima, working in partnership with NSTP, will play its role in providing the public with updates on the crisis and to raise awareness for the fund. We jointly appeal for generous contributions from the Malaysian public and corporate bodies to the fund, to be channeled to the disaster victims through UNICEF,” added Datuk Johan.
The death-toll resulting from the flood has reached more than 1,400 and is increasing as the torrent continues to hit four of the nation's largest provinces- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Balochistan and Sindh. According to government estimates, up to 20 million people are affected by the ravaging flood, while UNICEF estimates that up to 6 million are children; 2.7 million of whom are in urgent need of aid.
More than 700 schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were reportedly damaged by the floods and the damage assessments by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed 89 damaged and 52 destroyed health facilities in the areas affected by floods.
Those affected are in dire need of humanitarian essentials such as shelter, food and drinking water, medical assistance, hygiene kits and other basic necessities. Contributions made by the public will be channeled to Pakistan to bolster existing relief efforts to provide for sustenance and reconstruction of lives at the affected areas.
Aid needed urgently
According to Mr. Olsen, the Government of Pakistan with the help of the international community, including UN organisations is working around the clock to reach people with support.
"UNICEF, which is focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable – the children, their mothers and caregivers – is now providing enough clean water for 1.3 million people each day," said Mr. Olsen. "This may sound like much, but considering the scale of the emergency (over 20 million affected) we urgently need to scale up."
Individuals and organisations interested in helping those affected by the floods can channel contributions via the following methods:
§ Bank-in/Transfer funds through Maybank account number 5142 7133 9000 under the name “Tabung Bantuan Bencana Pakistan”
§ Write cheques made out to “Tabung Bantuan Bencana Pakistan” and send to:
UNICEF will use donations to protect Pakistan's children from malnutrition, hunger and deadly water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery which can spread easily with stagnant and dirty water.
"These children can’t wait. We need to come to their assistance," Mr. Olsen appealed. "We depend on lots of people around the world to be able to do this. I know that the Malaysian people will play their part."..............................................................................................
For more information, please contact:
a) Pakistan Disaster Relief Fund
b) UNICEF's Relief Operations in Pakistan
Newsline: Pakistan Floods