CIDI Joins Pakistan Consulate in Chicago to Urge Public to Donate Cash to Help Victims of Pakistan Earthquake

Cash Donations are the Best Form of Assistance

to Provide Effective and Immediate Assistance

Oct 19, 2005, 01:00 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

    ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for International
 Disaster Information (CIDI) has joined the Pakistan Consulate in Chicago to
 urge individuals and groups who wish to send aid in the Asian earthquake
 relief effort to donate cash, as an alternative to gifts in kind and other
 commodities.  Cash donations to recognized agencies will provide immediate and
 effective assistance to victims of the October 8 earthquake that was felt
 across northern Pakistan and the disputed region of Kashmir, as well as parts
 of India and Afghanistan.
     The earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale has claimed more than
 40,000 lives to date in Pakistan alone, and left millions of people without
 electricity, food, clean water and shelter.  Reports from relief officials
 compare the devastation to the 2004 tsunami.  Poor weather and mountainous
 terrain have also delayed the huge aid effort as fears mount of a "second
 wave" of deaths from untreated injuries and exposure.  Additionally, the
 arrival of winter weather signals that time is limited to help survivors, thus
 increasing the need for immediate relief.
     "This is a terrible tragedy, sadly reminiscent of the tsunami that hit
 Southeast Asia last December," said Suzanne Brooks, Director of the CIDI in
 Arlington, Virginia.  "In the days and months to come, it will be critical for
 relief workers to have the resources they need to respond quickly and
 effectively to victims' needs.  While gifts in kind are appreciated, the
 fastest and best way to provide this assistance is through cash donations.
 With today's technology, a cash donation can reach a relief agency in seconds,
 enabling them to purchase exactly what is needed on the ground while avoiding
 duplication and oversupply of items that are not needed."
     Consul General Aitzaz Ahmed stated, "We are heartened by the generosity
 shown by the American people as well as the Pakistani community living in the
 United States.  While we have transportation available through our national
 airline, the space is extremely limited.  The space that we do have available
 will be used for priority items like tents that are urgently needed in
 Pakistan.  For this reason, we encourage those interested in helping the
 victims of the earthquake to consider making monetary contributions to the
 President's Relief Fund to provide for the immediate and lone term needs of
 the Pakistani people affected by this deadly earthquake."
     An all day fund raiser is also being organized by the Consulate and the
 Pakistan-American Community at the Holiday Inn Skokie at 5300 Touhy Avenue
 Skokie, Illinois 60077 from 10 am to 10 pm on October 19, 2005.
     Individuals and organizations interested in making contributions to help
 the victims of the South Asian earthquake can get more information by
 accessing CIDI's Web site at  In addition, interested
 donors can visit to obtain a list of credible
 responding agencies for international emergencies, and and to get valuable information on making informed decisions
 when supporting charities.
     For those interested in donating to the President's Relief Fund, checks
 can be mailed to: 333 N Michigan Avenue #728, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (Bank
 number: 699516282, Routing Number:071000013, Swift Code: CHASUS33.)  More
 information is also available on the Embassy of Pakistan's web site at .
     Since its inception in 1988, CIDI has worked with individuals, groups,
 embassies and corporations to provide information and guidance in support of
 appropriate international disaster relief.  CIDI, operated under a grant from
 the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign
 Disaster Assistance, works with a variety of partners to channel the public's
 energy and desire to help achieve maximum impact.  By reaching out to the
 American public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and
 donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world.
 For more information about CIDI and helping international victims, log on to
 CIDI's Web site at, or call the media hotline at

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information