Muslim community raises thousands
MUSLIMS in Gloucester are digging deep to raise cash for victims of the Pakistani flood disaster.
Thousands of pounds are believed to have been raised by members of the congregation at the Masjid-e-Noor mosque in Ryecroft Street, with other organisations also rallying to raise cash.
Worshippers have been giving generously to help raise the figure, which will go to help the aid efforts in the flood-stricken country.
Barton and Tredworth councillor Usman Bhaimia, who attends the mosque regularly, commended the fund-raising efforts. He said: "The response has been good.
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"The money is coming in in trickles, and it's a big disaster so people are being very generous.
"There is a bigger target, so they're just trying to raise as much as possible."
Ismael Mehter, from the mosque, said the community was always supportive of fund-raising efforts.
He said: "It doesn't matter where the situation is, we always respond and work with other agencies to raise money.
"People have been very generous. I don't have exact figures yet."
Meanwhile, fever, stomach problems and skin diseases are spreading among flood victims, according to officials, adding another dimension to the crisis.
The floods have been described as the worst natural disaster in independent Pakistan's 63-year history, and the UN has warned that dams in the south may burst.
Aid workers say waterborne diseases and other illnesses could raise the death toll from more than two weeks of flooding to well past the estimated 1,500 people who have perished so far.
The DEC announced yesterday its appeal had so far raised £10.5 million. Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: "We are extremely grateful for the very generous response of the UK public to the flooding in Pakistan."
The DEC and its partners have provided aid to more than half a million flood victims. For details of the appeal, visit www.DEC.org.uk/ Pakistan-Donations