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P L E A S E    F O R W A R D    A N D    P O S T

Pakistan flood victimsAugust 18, 2010

Dear Friend of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,

Yesterday we received the urgent request below from friends in the Pakistan labor movement, asking for help in coping with the dire flood situation in their country. We ask that you respond as soon as possible to this appeal from Pakistani progressives with an online donation or by sending a check, made out to CPD, to:

Note: New Address
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
2808 Broadway, #12
New York, NY 10025

Please indicate that your donation is for Pakistan flood relief. All earmarked funds that we receive will go to Pakistan. If you would prefer to send your support directly to the Sindh Labour Relief Committee via wire transfer to Pakistan, let us know by return email at cpd@igc.org and we will send you the instructions for how to do that.

Thank you in advance for your contribution.
Joanne               Tom
Joanne Landy      Thomas Harrison
Co-Directors, CPD

LABOR APPEAL FROM PAKISTAN

Today we have formed the Sindh Labour Relief Committee (SLRC) in extended emergency meeting of different organizations at the National Trade Union Federation office in order to collect in-kind and cash donations in Karachi, and deliver it to people in relief camps and on roadsides. The immediate requirement is food, shelter and medicines.

SLRC Consists of the Following Groups: Labour Party (LPP), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Labour Education Foundation (LEF), Progressive Youth Front (PYF), National Students Federation(NSF), Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), Sindhi Urdu Abbabi Sang at (SUAS), Home Based Women Workers Center Association (HBWWCA), Sindh Youth Forum (SYF), Young Lion Heart (YLH), Garment Hosiery Workers Association (GHWA), ZABIST Zeitgeist Movement (ZZM), Adarsh Sath (AS) and Democratic Labour Union Steel Mills.

Campaign for Flood Relief of the Sindh Labour Relief Committee (SLRC)

The Crisis

Pakistan is witnessing its worst floods for 80 years. Unprecedented water levels have had truly devastating effects on the country, its infrastructure and its people from the north, in Gilgit, all the way downstream to Kotari, in Sindh. It was initially estimated that some 14 million people had been displaced more than 2,000 were thought dead, and crops covering an area of 5 million acres had been submerged in water.

Nearly 3 million people, in total, have been displaced from the banks of the Indus in Sindh alone. The actual figures are almost certain to be much higher, as many people still remain missing and the waters have yet to recede. Pakistan has lost an estimated $1 billion in agricultural revenue. Infrastructure around the Indus River has been destroyed.

Our inept political leadership confronts this crisis while bogged down by foreign debt obligations and calls for austerity at home and abroad. Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan were severely affected by the flood in its first phase, and now the floods have hit Sindh. The affected populations are in a dire state an already impoverished people have lost all of their belongings, including homes, farms, crops, and cattle.

The army and the government have engaged in sporadic intervention, and have declared the handling of the crisis beyond their capabilities. NGOs and individuals have done what they can to fill the void. But nothing, of course, can ever be sufficient. Reports from the ground suggest that only a small fraction of the affected have been housed in temporary camps; the rest are sitting out in the open by the roadside, on railway tracks, and bridges, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. All are at high risk of hunger, and water-borne diseases.

There are reports of increasing desperation; food trucks and convoys run by NGOs were attacked near Shikarpur and Kashmore on the Guddu Barrage. On Sunday a protest erupted at a government relief camp in Sukkur, after a resident died of hunger. Big landlords have, in several cases, worsened the crisis by diverting water towards poorer localities in order to protect their own land. In Sindh, the most affected areas are on the sides of the Indus River, from Gedu to the Kotri Barrage. The city of Jacobabad was evacuated, and 155,000 people in Khairpur district were displaced. Delivering aid will become harder in the next several days, as these areas are slated to be inundated by more floods.

SLRC's Proposed Work Will Be Centered in Moro, Naushehro Feroz District. In Naushehro Feroz, an estimated 96,000 face a serious threat ­ hunger and displacement. Nearly 15,000 are without food and shelter at the moment in camps in Moro. About 10,000 are said to be sitting on the sides of the road, trying to protect their cattle. The following goths no longer exist: Malik (3,000), Rajodero (4,000), Solangi Goth (2,500), Joraloo (1,000), Chanija (1,000), Gidro Goth (1,000), Detal Korai (5,000), Leghari Bechani (4,500), Purano Gachero (5,000). The city of Moro, home to hundreds of thousands of people, is under threat.

Building on our long-standing community ties in the region, we are starting relief work in Naushero Feroze. We have established 3 relief camps in Moro, where 150 families have been accommodated. 50 comrades are involved in rescue operations near Moro Bachao Band, helping to safely evacuate people stuck in areas surrounded by the flood water. We are committed to working with this community in a sustained and organized manner, as long as need be.

We have formed the Sindh Labour Relief Committee (SLRC) in order to collect in-kind and cash donations in Karachi, and deliver it to people in relief camps and on roadsides in Naushero Feroze District. The immediate requirement is food, shelter and medicines. SLRC Consists of the Following Groups: Labour Party, National Trade Union Federation, Labour Education Foundation, Progressive Youth Front, National Students Federation, Home Based Women Workers Federation, Sindhi Urdu Abbabi Sangat, Home Based women Workers Center Association, Sindh Youth Forum, Young Lion Heart, garment Hosiery Association and ZABIST Zeitgeist Movement, Adarsh Sath.

Where and How You Can Help

SLRC is going to establish four relief collection camps in Karachi--at Regal Chawk. Clifton (Aghas), Landhi, Habib Bank Chawrangi SITE.  In addition, there will be collection points in Gadap (run by cooperatives), New Karachi, and Sanghar starting Tuesday, August 17th. We appeal to all of you to extend a helping hand, and to show practical solidarity with people affected by the rains and flood.

Contact persons
Nasir Mansoor: (+92300-3587211, ntufpak@gmail.com
Abira Ashfaq:  (+92314-2003885, abira_a@hotmail.com

Note: New Address
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
2808 Broadway, #12
New York, NY 10025