LONDON: The Bestway Foundation has raised more than $2 million through its fundraising efforts while also appealing to the UK government and the international community to do more on an urgent basis to help Pakistan deal with the flood tragedy that has affected over 40 million people directly.
At an event held at Intercontinental Park Lane by Sir Anwar Pervez and Lord Zameer Choudrey, Pakistan’s leading foreign investor Bestway Group invited UK government ministers and leading Asian business figures to donate money for the Pakistan flood victims. Those who attended the event included Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Moazzam Ali Khan; Brandon Lewis MP, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary; Tom Tugendhat MP, Security Minister; Paul Scully MP, Minister for London; as well as former ministers Sajid Javed MP and Oliver Dowden MP Dr Murtaza Syed, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, also attended the event.
Lord Zameer Choudrey told Geo News: “We have raised more than $2 million through charitable donations of our businesses and the British Pakistani community. We arranged the fundraiser to assure the people of Pakistan that the Bestway Group stands with them. There is an urgent need to do a lot more to help Pakistan.”
Lord Zameer Choudrey said: “Floods in Pakistan have caused enormous damage. Millions of people have lost their livelihood, millions have been left completely destitute and we must help them. We are mobilising the community and Bestway Foundation to collect funds to help them. We want to highlight the catastrophe that has struck Pakistan and that’s why we invited key government ministers to the event.”
The Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis MP told Geo News that the UK government has provided a substantial package of support to Pakistan to deal with the aftermath of the floods. He said: “We have committed funds of £16.5 million for Pakistan and we are dealing with wider climate change issues as well and we are committing to that effort. The UK government has committed help for Pakistan and this shows our affection and desire to help Pakistan and the wider climate change issue.”
Bestway’s CFO, Haider Zameer Choudrey spoke to those at the event about the impact Bestway Foundation intends to make on the ground and that they will build homes and shelters for 5,000 families; provide usable water for 100,000 individuals; and provide food and medical supplies to over 20,000 people. He also highlighted the scale of the issue. “At a time where the debate in the UK is about the cost of living, you have the equivalent of half of the UK population with no means of surviving, let alone worrying about electricity. The impact of the floods is of such magnitude that it will take a number of years for those affected to bounce back.”
Dr Murtaza Syed of the SBP said Pakistan was going through the worst ever humanitarian natural disaster. He said: “This is the biggest natural disaster of our history. We are getting aid from all over the world and we are hoping that the international community will help us.”
The UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat MP said “the work the Pakistan government is doing is very important with reforestation and other measures. These floods have been incredibly sad and the destruction caused is more than many people could have thought. People are willing to support Pakistan and this event by Lord Zameer exemplifies what others should do.”
Minister for London Paul Scully MP and Oliver Dowden both said the UK public has been “taking close interest in the terrible floods that have affected Pakistan. We care about what’s happening in Pakistan. Both countries have enjoyed strong friendship. The UK was amongst the first countries to come out for Pakistan’s help.”
Sajid Javed MP, the former chancellor, said he was pleased with “what the UK has already done, its right to look at the situation in Pakistan and see what else can be done. Climate change is important to be considered when we look at what has happened in Pakistan. It’s ground zero. Floods in Pakistan have turned the livelihood upside down.”