Boxer fronts DEC appeal as donations rise to £7 million
BOXER Amir Khan has urged the British people to help millions affected by floods in Pakistan.
The 23-year-old from Bolton has become the face of the DEC Pakistan appeal which has so far raised £7 million through generous donations by the British public.
More than 14 million people have now been affected by the worst floods to hit Pakistan in 80 years.
The United Nations said the catastrophe was testing the limits of the country’s emergency response capacity, as well as that of the world body and other agencies.
World Champion boxer Khan, whose family comes from Pakistan, said: “Day by day it’s getting worse. It’s such a shame to see this because Pakistan has been through so much. Pakistan is a poor country and you feel for them.”
Khan said he had travelled to Pakistan three weeks ago at the time the monsoon rains had just begun to fall across the country.
“I remember when it started to rain and at that time it felt good because it was so warm,” he said. “It cooled the weather down a bit, but it’s just kept on raining after that.”
He revealed his mum, sister and other relatives were still in Pakistan but they had been unaffected by the devastating floods.
“Pakistan has been through so much,” the boxer said. “With my family coming from there, I like to show my support.
“It’s great to see so many charities like Oxfam and DEC joining together and helping the people of Pakistan. These people have lost so much and it’s great to see people donating. The donations are going to make a massive difference to their lives.”
The DEC’s member agencies have now distributed aid to a total of 545,000 people affected. Floodwaters have now moved south to the Sindh province and hundreds of villages have been flooded. Reports say the protective bund at Torhi in the province’s north has been breached and several barrages and dams are under threat from floodwater.
Disasters Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: “It is clear the British public realise that this is a humanitarian disaster on a huge scale. It is amazing that people are giving a million pounds a day nearly a week after we announced the appeal.
“But with heavy rains continuing we urgently need more donations to save lives.”
To make a donation to the DEC Pakistan appeal call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, visit http://www.dec.org.uk or donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word GIVE to 70707 – see details below.