Norway is sending NOK 25 million to Pakistan after last week’s flood catastrophe, and Norwegian-Pakistanis have been mobilizing too. They aim to gather and send as many as 12 tons of clothing to the areas hardest hit, along with food and medicine.
The massive flooding is now considered to be among the world’s worst natural disasters ever, and Norway is channeling its emergency aid through the UN, the Red Cross and several other humanitarian organizations. Lots of grass-roots efforts are underway as well, with volunteer Amer Latif telling newspaper Aftenposten that he and a friend have ordered a container to fill up with clothing for those who’ve lost most everything they own. “Just yesterday I got more than 10 telephone calls from people who want to donate clothing and money,” Latif said.
They aim to send the container to Lahore, from which a local organization can distribute the clothing to those in need. Most of the roughly 40,000 people of Pakistani descent living in Norway come from the northern areas of the country, which escaped much of the flooding. Many still want to help.
Malik Munir Ahmad, one of the founders of the Rahma Islamic Relief Fund, said the fund had collected more than NOK 600,000 before the weekend. The money is being used for a month’s supply of food for 800 families. Another group from Søndre Nordstrand in Oslo had also collected NOK 60,000 in the course of just a few days, with plans to send five trucks from Norway to Pakistan loaded with food, cooking euipment and medicine.