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 http://www.cidi.org. In addition, interested
donors can visit http://www.interaction.org to obtain a list of credible
responding agencies for international emergencies, and http://www.bbb.com and
http://www.give.org 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
Transfer: BANK ONE JP MORGAN CHASE BANK N.A. CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60670, Account
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 http://www.cidi.org, or call the media hotline at
SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information