Pakistan

Generous Brits make Asia quake DEC's third biggest appeal ever - as DEC urges world leaders to dig deep at funding conference

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As worldwide governments arrive in Pakistan for a crucial quake funding conference tomorrow (19 November), the Disasters Emergency Committee can reveal that people around the UK have pledged more than £40 million to its Asia Quake Appeal. This makes it the DEC's third biggest appeal after the Tsunami Earthquake Appeal last year and the Kosovo Crisis Appeal in 1999.
DEC chief executive Brendan Gormley said: "We urge the governments from around the world who will meet in Islamabad tomorrow to take on board their responsibility to people affected by the Asia Quake, A large injection of funds is needed to help them survive the winter and beyond."

He added: "We want to say a big thank you to those who donated to the DEC by internet, emergency phone lines and post, and remind people that more money is urgently needed to help survivors make it through the freezing winter."

DEC agencies are using funds donated to the Asia Quake Appeal on activities including:

- Delivering thousands of tonnes of food items to remote villages, such as rice, split peas, sugar, ghee, tea, salt and dried fruit (agencies include ActionAid, British Red Cross, Islamic Relief, World Vision).

- Setting up hospitals and medical camps in many areas to treat people with respiratory infections, diarrhoea and chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, and evacuating the seriously injured to hospital (agencies include ActionAid, British Red Cross, CAFOD and Merlin)

- Distributing tents specially adapted to withstand the bitter cold, incorporating chimneys and stoves, blankets, plastic sheeting and warm clothes (most DEC agencies).

- Restoring supplies of clean water in some of the worst affected areas, providing water and sanitation to hospitals, building latrines and bathing cubicles (agencies include British Red Cross and Oxfam)

- Setting up safe areas for children to play to help them restore a sense of routine and normality, providing communities with tools and training to rehabilitate village schools and providing emergency education (agencies include Save the Children and World Vision).

- Sending mobile medical units to treat elderly people for injuries and hypothermia, and providing food, clothing and shelter (Help the Aged).

According to officials, at least 73,000 people are feared dead in northern Pakistan and more than 1,300 in Indian Kashmir. The devastation affected 3.3 million people and left 2.5 million in ruined homes.

The 13 DEC member agencies are Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.