Pakistan American community gets involved in relief efforts after deadliest hurricane in decades

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HOUSTON, Aug 31 (APP): Pakistan Consulate General in collaboration
with the large Pakistani American community in the state of Texas is actively engaged in
relief efforts after the deadliest hurricane in decades that has so far claimed atleast 37
lives and inflicted damage running into billions of dollars.
Harvey, a category 4 storm with 130 miles per hour winds dropped more
than 4 feet of rains in parts of the Houston city, the most recoded by a tropical storm in
the continental US since 1950. CNN reported at least 37 deaths and Reuters said as
much $23 billion in damages occurred in just parts of two counties in the Houston state.
An estimated 200,000 Pakistani Americans live in Houston and have been
at the forefront of relief efforts not just for their own community but assisting other
communities as well.
After six days of torrential rains that devastated large parts of
Houston, the water has started to recede, enabling authorities to assess the real extent
of fatalities and damage. Alongside government efforts, citizens themselves have
undertaken the rescue work. Thousands of people have been housed in temporary
shelters including mosques across the city of Houston.
While overseeing the distribution of food boxes for needy families
affected by Hurricane Harvey, Ms. Aisha Farooqui, Consul General Houston said that she
was proud of the Pakistani American community’s efforts to reach out and help not just
the Pakistani families but all the other communities in Houston.
The Consulate has made efforts to remain engaged and accessible to the
community during this crisis. Emergency contact numbers of Consulate staff have been
disseminated for facilitation of community members on the official website of the
Consulate as well as circulated through twitter and facebook,
The Consulate resumed working since Monday, 28 August 2017 for consular
services.
The Consulate is also leading the effort for coordinating relief work
for affected members of our community as well as for the wider Houstonian community
by liaising with diverse Pakistani American community leaders and community
organizations such as Pakistan Association of Greater Houston (PAGH), Houston-Karachi
Sister City association, Islamic Society of Houston etc.
Focal points have been set up for distribution and supply of dry ration
boxes, including at Pakistan Centre which is centrally located enabling needy communities
and families to obtain free food boxes.
This food supply distribution point commenced on 29 August catering to
not only Pakistani community in need but also other communities in the vicinity.
Community members have pooled resources for a joint relief effort including Mr. Javaid
Anwer in Midlands, Mr. Amir Makhani in Dallas, Mr. Shahzad Bashir in Houston and many
more individuals and associations.
The Consulate in collaboration with Pakistani American Doctors
association, APPNA, an association of Pakistani doctors, is also establishing a mini clinic at
Pakistan Centre for emergency medical attention to needy community members.
Moreover, APPNA has also deployed volunteer doctors at main shelters in
the city for urgent medical assistance to the affectees. Moreover, they are also
partnering in supply of essential items to those needing immediate assistance in city
shelters.
APPNA Executive committee also announced a donation of USD 10,000 to
implement their relief assistance to the needy members of our community as well as
wider Houstonian community.