A U.S. Muslim group decided to help Pakistani flood victims through a Christian humanitarian aid agency, the latter group reported Tuesday.
The Muslim Community of North East Tennessee (MCNET) donated the $11,000 it raised to help the families in the hard-hit town of Shabarra in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province (formerly known as the Northwest Frontier) to World Vision.
MCNET's organizers, who are Pakistani Americans, praised the Christian aid agency for distributing relief supplies bought using the donation in a "very organized and dignified way." The group said it wants to raise more money and support more families in Shabarra, which has not received any aid other than from WV.
"The fact that Pakistanis are helping Pakistanis is highly commendable," remarked Shaharyar Khan Bangash, who manages World Vision's programs in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province. "These donations from the Pakistani community through World Vision are an endorsement of the trust the Pakistani community has in our work."
According to World Vision, MCNET's donation was used to purchase and distribute kitchenware, bedding, hygiene kits, gas cylinders, floor mats, tents and a small cash grant to 48 families in Shabarra.
About a month ago, flood waters from extremely heavy monsoon rains began to overflow in northwest Pakistan. The floods then pushed south along the Indus River, devastating towns and farmland.
The floods have killed 1,760 people but officials said they expect the death toll to rise "significantly" when they account for the missing. Flood waters have to date destroyed 8.9 million acres of rich farmland, damaged or destroyed a million homes, and affected 17 million people.
It is the worst flooding in Pakistan's history.
Last month, World Vision Pakistan's program development and quality director, Anita Cole, said the scale of humanitarian aid needed for the floods is "almost incomprehensible."
But WV said it is encouraged by the donations from Pakistani in and out of the disaster-stricken country. The Pakistani community has so far given more than $17,000 to communities in need through World Vision.
"I have not seen such a good way of distribution anywhere else," said Haji Ijaz Akhtar, a businessman and president of the Japan Market in Peshawar, who donated nearly $600 to the disaster through WV.
"After witnessing the excellent, transparent and unambiguous way World Vision Pakistan handles its distributions here today, I intend not only to donate more money but will also urge my other colleagues to donate generously to World Vision," he said.
Overall, American individuals, foundations and companies have donated $25 million towards Pakistan flood relief as of Aug. 30, according to Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy.
Meanwhile, donors worldwide have given about two-thirds of the $460 million the U.N. requested for emergency aid, according to the head of the World Food Program. But the food agency itself has less than half the money it needs to feed those affected.