x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Flood of support

Seven months after Pakistan's horrible floods, many have forgotten their plight. Not those who raised $1 million for the country at DIFC this past weekend.

Seven months have passed, but Pakistan's flood victims have not been forgotten in Dubai, as The National reported yesterday. And from the US$1 million (Dh3.67m) raised during a gala at the Burj Khalifa two weeks ago, a silver lining to an otherwise very dark cloud has emerged.

"It was a fantastic response from the people who took part in the fundraiser, and it has allowed us to double the number of children we can help," said Lara Adnan Hussein, Unicef's chief of child protection for the Gulf area.

The sold-out event featured Pakistan's former national cricketer Imran Khan and the tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. There sporting fame was part of the draw but so were children in Pakistan. Two million more of them can now be vaccinated against polio and measles. Special foods to combat malnutrition will be provided to 4,000 more. Thirty temporary schools will be built.

A community initiative by budding philanthropists, many of whom work at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), showed how a little organisation can go a long way. As Cem Sinirlioglu who works at Lazard investment bank in DIFC observed: "It's now seven months after the disaster and public attention was beginning to wane, but for the survivors of the floods, they still need our help and support."

And now they're getting it.