Pakistan: Relief goods steadily rolling north

Shirkat Gah
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of more than 500 volunteers from Karachi, Gwadar, Dubai and large and small towns of all four provinces has been sending relief goods including emergency medicines and daily items to the disaster-hit areas.
A coalition of 85 civil society organisations from across the country, JAC is now responding to call for help from PIMS and other hospitals, Edhi Foundation, the Red Crescent Society and many others.
A spokesperson for JAC said the trucks loaded with emergency relief supplies started rolling north Monday and it had been a steady stream ever since. This is a coordinated, cooperative relief work by NGOs on a huge scale.

It includes a massive mobilisation of human and financial resources; collection, sorting and packing of various donated items of emergency food supplies (such as water, fresh and powdered milk, biscuits, dates, tea, sugar), and also second-phase food for cooking (oil, atta, rice, daal); clothing for children, women and men, including shoes and woollies; blankets and quilts; shelter, such as tents, plastic sheeting and tarpaulin; basic medicines and first aid kit supplies. JAC is also mobilising financial resources, primarily from philanthropists, national and international NGOs, to purchase items in short supply, such as tents and medicines, as well as other emergency needs, including large quantities of white cotton cloth for shrouds, tents and diesel for trucks and pick-ups used for transporting these supplies up north, spokesperson added.

The most heart-warming aspect of JAC?s work so far has been the overwhelming response of young people to the appeal for volunteers required for camp office work (sorting and packing, labelling, loading trucks), and also for field work, including travelling up to the northern areas and AJK with the trucks, unloading and distributing the relief supplies in difficult terrains and conditions.

The JAC is a platform of over 85 progressive, forward-looking NGOs with around 25 in the twin cities working all over Pakistan in socio-economic development services and advocacy on human rights, with particular emphasis on justice and equality of women, peasants, workers, minorities, children, and other disadvantaged populations in remote areas of Pakistan.

Originally published in The Post, 15 October 2005