Sunday, October 09, 2005

Save Your Breath. There's Work To Do Now.

At 9:00 a.m. local-time, Saturday, October 8, a 7.6 - magnitude earthquake hit northern Pakistan.

Early reports put the dead in Pakistan and neighbouring regions of India and Afghanistan at between 20,000 and 30,000 people.

Tens of thousands more are injured. Hundreds of thousands are homeless.

For the worst off, it’s always the first few hours that count. For thousands more, getting help in the first few days is a matter of life and death. You can put your shoulder to wheel right now by donating directly through UNICEF Canada, at their South Asia Earthquake page or through World Vision Canada , which has field experience in the area and is trying to reach survivors, as I write this, with food, water, medicine, blankets, tents, and so on.

The Government of Canada is donating $300,000 straight away, sensibly split between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Canadians can contribute directly here ) and the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan, where diplomatic staff will be able to respond quickly to emergency needs.

In his October 8 statement, Prime Minister Paul Martin explained that the money would come from a fund set aside in the February 2005 budget, “and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.”

For those less interested in whether the Prime Minister has properly budgeted for this expenditure than in having him hurry up and send more money, you can tell him so, directly. Here’s his email address:

But put your own shoulder to the wheel first. Save the talking for later.


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10:08 PM  

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