Helping the IDP’s…
The misery of the IDP’s caused by the Taleban in Swat is all in our hearts and we want to help. But how do we make sure that proper aid actually reaches them? A lot of donation booths seem to have popped up all of a sudden across the city – under bridges and flyovers, on traffic intersections and sidewalks, etc. People have set up tents where they are noisily blaring songs and slogans (however unpleasant) and collecting goods to send to the people in Swat. Political parties have started mobilizing their workers. Lots of individuals have also come forward with their own action plans for help. All of this is very commendable.
However, there are also others who are profiting from this opportunity to gain free funds. As was highlighted in the news a few days ago, reports are rife that people collected donations for the cause of the IDP’s and kept a major portion for themselves. Then there is the odd person who pops up by your car on a signal, with a box for donations. I am forever doubtful if that donation is actually going for the IDP’s or for the Taleban under-cover, or in the pocket of some corrupt profiteer. Oh yes! you should keep this in mind! Since there was no initial screening of the people coming down from the Swat area, many of the Taleban also slipped out with them. And they are known to take on such disguises to escape from the military so they can survive to cause trouble later. And Karachi is one place where they know they can come to collect money!
So keeping all this in mind, how should you screen your donation to make sure it actually reaches the ones in need?
One thing is to make sure that the organization or individual collecting the donation is dependable and has a track record for doing this kind of help. Another is to make sure that they have the required infrastructure or delivery mechanism in place to actually deliver the help in time and to the people actually in need. Third is to make sure that they would utilize the excess aid in a proper manner and divert it to other such scenarios.
For me, the World Food Programme (of the United Nations) fits all these descriptions perfectly. It is no secret that they are doing an incredible amount of work to make sure that nutritious food supply is maintained for everyone in need. Plus they have a history of providing such aid earlier during the earthquake tragedy in Pakistan as well. The UN has the required infrastructure, supply chain setup, and governmental permissions that would get this aid across quickly. And also if there is any surplus, you can be sure that they will utilize it within Pakistan for any future tragedy that might hit. For just Rs. 6000 you can help support an entire IDP family. I am publishing the details of the WFP’s Pakistan Trust Fund accounts below, so you too can help. These have been verified by me through contacting the official spokesperson for the WFP in Pakistan, so you can be sure they are the right ones. You can also find the same account details on the WFP’s Pakistan website, http://www.helpidp.org/donation.php which they have set up in collaboration with the NWFP government. Heres the details:
World Food Program – Pakistan Trust Funds
Account no: 01-7355548-38
Standard Chartered Bank, F-7 Markaz, Islamabad
Swift Code – SCBLPKKX
Account no: 92577-4
Branch code: 1694
National Bank of Pakistan, Al Markaz branch, F-8 Islamabad.
Swift Code: NBPAPKKA02I