At today’s (Tuesday) Foreign Office Questions, Worcester's MP Robin Walker drew attention to the outstanding fundraising efforts being made by Worcester's Pakistani Community in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan and urged ministers to do everything in their power to increase the impact of their efforts.
He applauded a statement from Ministers outlining an increase in the UK's contribution to humanitarian relief following the recent catastrophic flooding in Pakistan from £1.5 million to £16 million, but he emphasised that British Pakistani communities across the UK, including in Worcester, are doing more.
The Worcester Mosque's initiatives were praised by Vicky Ford, the Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. In addition, she praised the British people for contributing £11 million to help with the aftermath of the floods and any famines they may cause. She explained how the UK has already made 10% of the whole effort.
Answering a previous question on the contribution of the Pakistani diaspora she said:
“I absolutely join the hon. Gentleman in praising and thanking the British people, especially the Pakistani diaspora across the UK, for the efforts they have made to support their friends and family, and those most in need in Pakistan. We worked with the Disasters Emergency Committee to get its appeal launched at the end of the last week. The UK Government are match funding the first £5 million, but I am really pleased to have heard this morning that the appeal has already raised over £11 million from public donations. That is a huge, huge effort.”
The Worcester MP commended his neighbourhood mosque for repeatedly contributing funds for Pakistan's natural disaster events:
“I welcome my hon. Friend’s comments about the diaspora and the additional £15 million. In Worcester, our mosque raised £87,000 to support Pakistan after floods in 2010 and once again it is going out of its way to raise money. What more can the Government do to amplify and magnify the contribution from British Pakistani communities?”
The Minister replied:
“May I thank the members of my hon. Friend’s mosque in Worcester? Members of my mosque in Chelmsford have been engaged in similar activities. I encourage those who are concerned about the flooding to continue to support the DEC appeal. The response over the past few days has been absolutely outstanding. Supporting through the DEC appeal, which has match funding from the UK Government, will ensure that water, food and other emergency needs get to where they are needed most.”