Conservative Party Chairman and Minister Baroness Warsi last week returned from a trip to the flood stricken areas of Pakistan.
Travelling with Andrew Mitchell Minister Secretary of State for International development, in a bid to raise the profile of the devastation being felt and to see where the money pledged by the British government 31 million pounds with a further 33 million to be pledged is being spent on.
Commenting on the scale of the impact of the flood Baroness Warsi described the worst hit areas:
“The scenes are devastating and the situation is likely to worsen. I have seen for myself just what UK Aid has been able to do already, and this additional allocation of aid will further help those who have been affected by this tragedy to rebuild to their lives.
“I’d like to thank the British public, who has donated over 15 million pounds to this cause, for their continued generosity. It is vital that the international community joins us in doing everything we can to relieve the suffering of the people of Pakistan.”
Warsi who was born in Dewsbury in Yorkshire is of Pakistani descent and formally practiced law in Pakistan in the Ministry of Law in Pakistan and in Kashmir as Chairman of the Savayra Foundation, a women’s empowerment charity.
Warsi’s visit and the UK aid have been welcomed by two charities that have both proved as invaluable to the relief effort so far.
Islamic Relief has so far set up relief projects around Pakistan that have aided around 40,000 people affected by the flood.
The UK based charity desperately needs further donations to build on the relief effort already undertaken.
Islamic Relief’s Campaigns Manager, Moadh Kheriji is in Pakistan helping with the relief effort welcomed the visit and said:
“It is reassuring to see officials from our country coming here to witness the ongoing devastation first-hand. We hope that they continue to support survivors of the flood”
The Baroness visited some of the worst affected areas, areas that are already beginning to suffer from problems that are symptomatic to a country suffering in the aftermath of one of the worst disasters in recent history.
The aftermath of the flood has created conditions for all manner of diseases. Last week the first case of cholera was confirmed and the situation will worsen unless the aid charities and organisations continue to receive support.
The UN estimates that the breakdown of Pakistan’s infrastructure has affected some 14 million people.
Warsi’s effort to raise the profile of the needs of Pakistan is a welcome move.
By Richard Sudan