LONDON: A major British charity group has raised £13.5 million ($15.5 million) to support relief efforts for Pakistan amid the devastating floods.
The Disaster Emergency Committee — a collection of 15 leading charities in Britain — gathered most of the funding from British Muslims across the UK, who dug deep into their pay packets and savings to support the Pakistani people after the committee issued an emergency appeal.
DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed told Sky News that the funds were raised in just over two days, thanking the “hard efforts” from his teams.
The DEC has 11 charitable organizations working in Pakistan — including Cafod, Oxfam, and the Red Cross — in tandem with the government and the UN.
British Muslims have led from the front when supporting the DEC’s relief efforts. Islamic Relief, one of the main charities supported by the DEC, has deployed fundraisers to every other mosque in the country.
In Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, around £6,000 was raised in less than an hour. The rapid fundraising has been all the more extraordinary as Britain braces for its worst cost of living crisis in a generation.
The mosque’s imam, Jamal Abdinasir, told Sky News that empathy and charity should motivate every Muslim.
He said: “Allah tests different people in different ways. Tomorrow it could be us going through a flood, famine, drought, hunger… any difficulty.
“We don’t want that to be us. And should that be us, we are going to find rest in the fact that there are our brothers and sisters across the globe who are going to help.”
Azizur Rahman, one of the Islamic Relief fundraisers, told Sky News: “Our collection is going to help provide emergency aid to those that are vulnerable now. From food packs to emergency hygiene kits, and putting people in shelter.
“A lot of people have lost their homes, so we are setting up temporary accommodation for people, to give them a safe space to stay.”
Even young children dipped into their pocket money to support charity efforts, with Selina Khaider telling Sky News about the importance of compassion.
“Some of them don’t have food. They are suffering. We should help them. It would be very kind to.”