Australia stands up for Pakistan’s flood victims

20/09/2010

Caritas Australia has applauded the Australian Government’s recommitment to support Pakistan’s desperate flood victims with an additional $40m to the relief effort.

Announced by Australia’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd on 17 September, the additional aid will ensure live-saving support reaches communities in Pakistan still clambering to escape the rising flood waters almost two months into the crisis.

Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot said the organisation was encouraged to see aid and development high on the government’s agenda so early in its term.

"This week the United Nations lamented the lagging international donor support for the flood response in Pakistan. We really welcome the Australian Government’s leadership on the issue," Mr de Groot said.

"These floods are one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. With almost 21 million men, women and children affected, the impact has been greater than the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and this year’s earthquake in Haiti combined.

"This announcement is a display of Australia’s leadership, generosity and staunch commitment to stand up for the most vulnerable and restore livelihoods in communities devastated by natural disasters."

Of the $40m pledged, almost a quarter will go towards bolstering the efforts of Australian non-government organisations working in flood-affected communities.

"The Caritas network has been working at the grassroots in Pakistan for many years so our partners are well placed and prepared to respond to crisis of this nature," Mr de Groot said.

Mr de Groot said the Australian public has also contributed significantly to the relief efforts in Pakistan. To date, Caritas supporters have pledged close to $2.5 million towards the distribution of food, hygiene kits and shelter, and the reconstruction of vital community infrastructure in Pakistan’s KPK, Balochistan and Sindh Provinces.

"Already Australians have shown deep compassion and support for the victims of this unthinkable crisis," Mr de Groot said.

You can support the Caritas Australia South Asia Floods, Pakistan Appeal by calling 1800 024 413 or at the Caritas website.

Related Pakistan Flood Appeal Pages:

Caritas Australia Appeal

Catholic Mission Appeal

Jesuit Mission Appeal


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