Locals come together to raise funds for Pakistan amidst floods

Sep 5, 2022, 8:42 AM
This aerial photograph taken on September 5, 2022 shows flooded residential areas after heavy monso...
This aerial photograph taken on September 5, 2022 shows flooded residential areas after heavy monsoon rains in Dera Allah Yar, Balochistan province. - Nearly a third of Pakistan is under water -- an area the size of the United Kingdom -- following months of record monsoon rains that have killed 1,300 people and washed away homes, businesses, roads and bridges. (Photo by Fida HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by FIDA HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by FIDA HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The images of the flooding in Pakistan after the record monsoon rains are devastating — and the statistics are staggering.

More than 1,100 people have died — including 400 children — and 33 million people are displaced from their homes, about one-sixth of the country’s population.

And so 7,000 miles away, the Pakistan Association of Greater Seattle decided to reach out a helping hand.

“We are collecting funds and then passing it onto charities that are on the ground in Pakistan, that can quickly mobilize resources and get it to the flood-affected people there,” explained Kamran Salahuddin, who helped found the association and start the fundraiser.

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Salahuddin also participated in a telethon in New York last week, which collected almost $2 million in donations.

One-third of the country of Pakistan — about 100,000 square-miles — is underwater right now. To put it in perspective, Salahuddin said, it’s “as if the state of Washington was all underwater and then some.”

This is not the first time the Pakistan Association has mobilized to help the country after a natural disaster. In 2005, after the magnitude 7.6 Kashmir Earthquake, the Puget Sound area sent $350,000 in cash and two cargo planes full of supplies to Pakistan.

While there might be a shipment of supplies in the future, right now, the Pakistan Association is sending cash donations rather than food or clothing because, with supply chain disruptions, it is much faster — and with so many people out of their homes, time is of the essence.

“We do not keep any percentage or any overhead — 100% of the donations are passed onto charities on the ground,” Salahuddin said.

You can donate on the Pakistan Association’s website.

The association is planning future fundraising events to help the flood relief efforts in Pakistan. Additionally, if you or a group you are part of would like to host an event to help Pakistan, the association will help you organize it.

The other big way people can help, Salahuddin said, is by raising awareness. He believes that not enough people know about the flooding, or realize the extent of the disaster, because it has not gotten enough worldwide attention.

“The more people who are aware, the more help people there who are suffering will get,” Salahuddin said.

The disaster hits personally for him, as the farmland of some of his relatives in Pakistan is among the flooded properties.

“People in Seattle are very generous and very giving, and I really thank everyone who has helped us in the past, and I look forward to whatever they can do to help the people now — whether by creating awareness or donations,” he said.

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Locals come together to raise funds for Pakistan amidst floods