3 August 2010
As the relief effort gears up in Pakistan, members of the public can now donate goods to British Red Cross shops for resale to benefit people affected by the severe flooding.
When items including clothes, books, shoes and household goods are donated to Red Cross shops, the donors are able to specify that the proceeds of their sale should go to the British Red Cross’ Pakistan Floods Appeal, launched yesterday. [Update 5 August: Since the launch of the DEC's appeal today, the proceeds of the sale will benefit the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal.]
Shops will be accepting stock in this way for two weeks, from 3-17 August. Donated goods will not be sent overseas, however.
Paul Thompson, British Red Cross head of retail, said: “This is a great way to donate if you’re strapped for cash, or just looking for another way to help the survivors of Pakistan’s floods.”
Read more about the goods donation scheme
Meanwhile, aid is reaching thousands of families in the affected areas in Pakistan. Pakistan Red Crescent volunteers have already provided 20,000 people with food parcels and distributed other relief items, including tents, hygiene kits, jerry cans, kitchen sets, tarpaulin sheets and kerosene stoves.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has deployed disaster management specialists to the area and has launched an operation to provide 175,000 people with emergency water and sanitation, healthcare and shelter, as well as food and other relief items.
The International Committee of the Red Cross was already working in many of the affected areas, including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and the federally administered tribal areas (FATA), and is conducting relief operations there.
Reservoirs are reaching their limit, which could cause further flooding. In addition, more monsoon rains are predicted over the coming days and the situation is expected to get worse. There is also concern that water-borne diseases could spread.
Pete Garratt, British Red Cross disaster relief manager, said: “With more monsoon rains predicted over the next two days, the situation is going to get considerably worse. Thousands of people already have lost their homes and livelihoods, crops have been destroyed and whole villages have been washed away. Roads and bridges have been affected, leaving some areas cut off, and with the flood levels due to rise there is a risk that many more people could find themselves homeless.”
Read Pete’s blog about Pakistan
The British Red Cross has already released £50,000 from its Disaster Fund to provide immediate relief to survivors. Tesco has given £20,000 to the Pakistan Floods Appeal. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has also contributed £25,000 to the appeal.