How your cash can help save children of disaster

    Saturday, August 07, 2010
    This is Leicestershire

    By Gary Mitchell

    The Leicester Mercury today joins forces with international aid charity Unicef to help desperate families in flood-ravaged Pakistan.

    We are urging readers to give what they can so Unicef can provide urgently-needed supplies such as clean drinking water, food, medicine and shelter.

    Simply by pledging money with the coupon on this page and sending it to our appeal, you can help save a child's life.

    Whole villages have been submerged in the past week by heavy rains, killing about 1,600 people and affecting another 4.5 million – including 1.4 million children.

    There are growing fears that families made homeless or forced to flee are now at further risk from potentially disease.

    Sarah Epstein, from Unicef UK, said: 'Children remain at a very high risk, but the people of Leicestershire can do something to help.

    'Your money will help fund the vital relief work we need to do to right now – provide safe water and prevent the spread of disease.

    'The coming days are critical as we try to reach the vulnerable children affected by the floods.

    'Even the smallest donation can make a difference.'

    Unicef launched a £30 million worldwide fund-raising campaign yesterday as weather forecasts in Pakistan warned of more heavy downpours to come.

    Several charities and places of worship across the county have raised thousands so far, but much more will be needed.

    Community leaders urged people to give as much as they can.

    Manjula Sood, a former Lord Mayor of Leicester and chairman of Leicester Council of Faiths, said: 'It's distressing to see how many have lost their lives and how many are homeless.

    'To see the news reports and how desperate women and children are for a packet of food is heartbreaking.

    'We must do all we can to help.'

    The Ummah Welfare Trust charity, which helps poor Muslims in crisis, has raised £7,000 in Leicestershire, which will pay for food, blankets and other supplies.

    And volunteer group Friends of Leicester is preparing lunch boxes of curry at £5 each, to be delivered to firms around the city next Friday.