10 September 2005
“There are at least ten New Zealand NGOs currently accepting donations for the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan, and it is important that the public gets in behind them with their support,” according to Rae Julian, the Executive Director of the Council for International Development. “Those from Guatemala and other parts of Central America must also be remembered.
“President General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan has called the disaster the worst in that nation’s history” Ms Julian said, “and he has appealed for urgent international assistance. New Zealand is a generous nation and already, a number of New Zealand based agencies have responded.”
Information on how the public can get in touch with these agencies is attached.
“Given the number of buildings that have collapsed and the size of the population affected, there is going to be a huge number of people needing food, water and shelter”.
Reports from NGOs in the region state that large numbers of people have been affected by Saturday’s devastating earthquake, including over 20,000 deaths in a belt stretching from Afghanistan across northern Pakistan and into India. While parts of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir are among the worst hit areas, there are many reports of massive destruction across northern mountainous areas of Pakistan.
We welcome the statement from the Minister responsible for overseas aid and development, Marian Hobbs, confirmed today that New Zealand will contribute $1m to the international relief effort that is assisting not only with the aftermath of the Pakistan earthquake but also with the mudslides in Central America.
“The people of Pakistan and Guatemala desperately need the support of the international community” said Rae Julian. “The response of the New Zealand government and the public to the weekend’s two tragedies has already been outstanding. It demonstrates, once again, that people in this country have great heart and compassion in wanting to assist those struck by natural disaster abroad”.