In this regard Microsoft announced a relief package consisting of $ 700,000 cash-donation, deployment of disaster management software for the Govt. of Punjab at no cost, urgent food supplies to the flood victims in KPK province and software donations to various NGOs currently involved in relief activities.
In the first and the most urgent phase of this humanitarian assistance, Microsoft Pakistan team volunteered in donating and distributing food items comprising flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar and tea to the hundreds of families left destitute by the heavy monsoon rains, which have ravaged different parts of Pakistan.
A group of individuals from Microsoft team has visited Nowshera and its surroundings four times in last one month to deliver urgently needed food supplies to flood victims there. So far over 300 families have been reached.
“It has been extremely difficult to reach these vulnerable families,” said Shoaib Khalil, Marketing Lead, Microsoft Pakistan.
“Almost all infrastructures have been destroyed by the flood and relief activities are hindered. Sitting back in the office it was impossible for us to gauge the level of assistance needed by the affected families. I would urge people in their personal capacity shall come forward and visit these camps with do their share of support “he added.
As part of the efforts to create resilient communities, Microsoft will support landing a Disaster Management Response system in the Punjab Province. Country Manager Kamal Ahmed led the Microsoft mission in a presentation to the Punjab Chief Minister and subsequently his cabinet, to present a state of the art Emergency Response System developed by Microsoft Gold Partner, Geodan . The Dutch Firm, which received Microsoft’s 2008 innovation award, will provide the $500,000 software package and initial training free of charge as part of Microsoft partner support to flood relief.
The Response System and its technical staff, which has especially flown in from Holland has already began the installation and training for Punjab Province Staff. Microsoft will also arrange demos for the software system to all the major donors so that it can become part and parcel of the arsenal of disaster response mechanisms. In addition Microsoft will also be providing software donations to NGOs involved in the relief effort.
Talking at this ceremony Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager Microsoft Pakistan said
“The floods have uprooted millions from their homes. This is a time when every individual, every brand, every company must do everything possible to help the affectees in areas best suited to their core strengths. Only this way, will we be able to maximize our impact and tend to the needs of our fellow Pakistanis. A single entity’s contribution is limited by its individual resources and skill. Our aim is to help as many people as possible and therefore, it is important to create synergies to maximize reach. What we could have done alone would be far smaller than what we can do together with our cause partners like; Geodan and Govt. Of Punjab combined. We have come together to provide help in their respective areas of expertise and have dedicated their individual resources to reach out to those unfortunately affected by the country’s floods. “
Microsoft and its employees around the world have committed and contributed generously for flood relief efforts in Pakistan. Microsoft offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and our Middle East and Africa Region are matching employees’ donations as well. Besides the cash donation MSN & Bing had been running cross network promotion on how to donate to help for Pakistan flood victims, through their websites. Besides the cash donation MSN & Bing has been running cross network promotion on how to donate to help Pakistan.
“The unprecedented torrential rains and flash floods have caused immense human and financial loss to the country and it is the need of the hour that the business community should come forward with generous donations so that maximum relief could be provided to the million of displaced families.”
The United Nations has reported that to date, an estimated 20 million people have been affected by torrential rains and flooding and 7 to 8 million people are in dire need of food aid, clean water and shelter. Over 1,700 lives have been lost, more than 1,600 injured and 2 to 3 million people displaced due to the various rain-related hazards including landslides, floods, mudflows and structural collapse. More floods due to continued rains in upper parts of the country are likely to swell the number of those affected.