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Saturday, December 3, 2016
Parish appeal for Pakistan earthquake survivors
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¬†CAFOD has sent an appeal to Catholic parishes calling on supporters to donate money to help support the relief effort in Pakistan's earthquake affected areas. One month after the devastating earthquake struck the number of dead has reached more than 50,000 with over 65,000 injured. The United Nations estimates that about 800,000 people are still without adequate shelter. There are still strong aftershocks, as a result of the powerful earthquake that hit northern parts of Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir on the 8th of October. The magnitude of the quake measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. The agency is responding to the relief effort through its partners, Caritas Pakistan, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Islamic Relief. They urgently need funds to continue their vital relief work. It has become a race against time for them to deliver tents and blankets as well as plastic sheeting, stoves, cooking utensils and essential household items to the millions of earthquake survivors before the bitter Himalayan winter sets in. Emergency team member for CAFOD, Nana Anto-Awuakye returned from Pakistan this week, she said: "It will be one month since the earthquake hit, and the pressing challenge is to get aid to people. It is only when you take a helicopter over the affected areas, that you understand what the UN call the 'logistical nightmare'. In these mountainous communities, as far as the eye can see, there are flattened houses, with debris and rubble sliding down the sides of mountains, and you see very few tents. 'Wherever you go in the affected areas people ask for tents, without proper winterised tents, people cannot survive the bitter winter months were temperatures are said to drop to minus 12 degrees Celsius. CAFOD's partners are doing great work, under conditions that are often nearly impossible. They have climbed steep hills for an hour and a half to reach remote communities, because the roads have been torn-up by the earthquake, or because landslides have blocked the road. Their commitment is to ensure that aid reaches the neediest." To date Caritas Pakistan with support from CRS have been able to distribute 2,000 tents, 3,000 blankets and more than 1,000 plastic sheets. CAFOD has already pledged over £1 million to their partners Caritas Pakistan, Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief.
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