Pakistan: Please help survivors of the Pakistan earthquake

Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre
We appeal to you for assistance. The survivors of the devastating earthquake are getting more endangered by the day.
You may have heard news from the media that many of them continue to be stranded in inaccessible mountain areas - hungry, thirsty and cold with no shelter and insufficient clothes and bedding in torrential rain and hail.
In this terrible tragedy, there are both heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories: every neighbourhood is collecting relief from small children contributing a mini-pack of biscuits from their pocket money, to those organising major relief packages for whole families: bedding, clothes, shelter and food. But for many, family as we know it no longer exists: there are nursing infants without mothers, grandparents without children or grandchildren.

All Pakistani human rights organisations in the Joint Action Committee for Citizens Rights (JAC) have banded together for the relief work, with the NGO Sungi in the lead. Sungi has previous experience with relief work since they started with a flood relief programme some decades ago. The organizations in the JAC have long worked with local communities in the region of the earthquake and are thus able to access remote villages through social networks that are not available to the military and large donor organizations.

If people want to contribute to the combined relief effort of JAC, they can send money directly to Sungi:

Sungi Development Foundation
US Dollar account no. 412-2
Branch Code: 0585
MCB Start Branch Abbotabad

Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre is involved in the JAC effort and is accepting funds for transferring to JACs resource pool. Shirkat Gah in Lahore is acting as a collection point for JAC and for another effort led by Nalia Hussain and Lahores National College of Arts (that lost several students and/or their families). We are also working in collaboration with a hospital and medical foundation and a rural support programme with local offices in the area. Shirkat Gah Peshawar, located closest to the area, is providing direct assistance to villagers.

Some needed supplies are no longer available in Islamabad and Abbotabad. So we are buying goods and sending 1-2 trucks everyday from Lahore to northern locations specified by Sungi. The truckers have now offered this service free.

Shirkat Gah is sending, as asked, shrouds for the dead, as well as tents, quilts and blankets for those who have survived. We are sending with every truck a few dozen baby bottles for feeding nursing infants who have lost their mothers. It would be best if we receive money, rather than goods, at this point, as it is much faster for us to source for the items in Pakistan or India. In Lahore, the market is now completely out of tents and quilts, with blankets now available only at one exhibition fair.

If you would like to support Shirkat Gah's relief effort, these are our banking details:

Account name: Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre
Account No. 3582-050996-001
Standard Chartered Bank
1 Evertrust Plaza, Suite 1101, 11th floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302, USA
With instructions for onward telex / swift remittance to:
Standard Chartered Bank
Karachi, Pakistan
Account No. 3582-050996-001 SWIFT CODE: SCBLPKKX

For further credit to:
Shirkat Gah
US$ Account No. 05-5307597-79
Standard Chartered Bank
New Garden Town
Lahore, Pakistan

A bank transfer is best, rather than sending bank drafts and international cheques which take too long to clear. It would also be better for one person or group to collect money from friends or family to send in one go, rather send small individual transfers since the bank deducts too much money per transaction. Some Pakistani banks with overseas branchs may agree to transfer the money without bank charges. At least some are doing so in the United Arab Emirates. Shirkat Gahs office in Peshawar is working with others in that area to deliver direct assistance to one particular village. If you want to support that effort, then please inform us.

Gulnar is Shirkat Gah's focal point for our relief efforts and can answer any questions you may have. Her email address is: If you are sending money to Shirkat Gah, please email Gulnar to inform her of the amount, date and reference number of the remittance, so that we can email you to acknowledge receipt. We will send you updates whenever possible.

Thank you for your concern and help.

Yours sincerely,

Farida Shaheed
Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre