While other Islamic countries are busy celebrating Ramadan, the population of Pakistan is struggling with the worst flooding in almost a century. Although the immediate death toll in the disaster zone is comparatively low, when compared to other natural catastrophes like earthquakes or tornadoes, for many Pakistanis, the suffering has only begun. Far over one million people have lost their homes, their belongings, and their livelihood, and millions of others may have kept their house, but may not have access to clean water anymore. Inundations of that magnitude often cause most sources of drinking water to be contaminated with sewage and faeces – even ground water can be affected. Therefore, both local authorities and international relief organizations fear not only a further deluge from the rising river Indus, but also the outbreak of epidemics linked to drinking dirty water.
If you still have some money to spare this month, maybe you can use it to support the people of Pakistan. Take care to avoid telemarketing fundraisers, though, since they are sometimes employed by for-profit agencies that keep a sizable share of your donation themselves. Instead, rely on established charities such as UNICEF, Oxfam or the ICRC, which have already got helpers in the affected regions. With them, you can also designate your contribution and do some research in their annual financial reports whether your donation actually reached the people who needed it most. Last but not least, you can easily give online on their secure donor sites.
If you have any particular charity you’d like to recommend, you can also do so in the InterNations Forum.