[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Quake sparks charity fatigue fear
Family shelters in Muzaffarabad
Families are facing another night sheltering from the rain and cold
The head of an appeal for the South Asia quake has said he is hopeful the UK public will overcome any donation fatigue to help the stricken area.

Brendan Gormley, of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), said people were usually "wonderfully generous" despite the other crises this year.

More British aid is heading for the region as rescuers continue their work.

A government-funded flight carrying 800 tents for Oxfam and 19,000 blankets for Islamic Relief left on Tuesday.

Aziz Rajab-Ali, of Islamic Relief, said: "This aid is essential to the survival of the survivors of this disaster."

My head would tell me that people surely can't give any more, but clearly our hearts drive us
Brendan Gormley, DEC

He said the charity's UK manager Waseem Yaqub was flying to Pakistan on a separate flight to collect the blankets and take them to Bagh in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Mr Gormley told the BBC's World at One that they had discussed at DEC whether after the tsunami and the famine crisis in Africa, people were tired of donating money.

He said: "We've just raised 25m for the sad situation in West Africa.

"My head would tell me that people surely can't give any more. But clearly our hearts drive us and people, when they see awful things, when they know something can be done, they seem to be wonderfully generous."

Nine rescues

Aid agencies raising funds praised the early "massive" response of the UK public.

Islamic Relief, which has already allocated 2m for the effort, said its phone lines were "jammed" with people wanting to help.

The charity has led teams of workers from other groups to Rawalakot and Bagh, and its clinic in the Neelum Valley had treated 5,000 people, they said.

In other developments, Help the Aged said it had sent a mobile medical unit that was already operating in the area, to Uri in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Disasters Emergency Committee
0870 6060 900

DEC: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision

Two other mobile medical units from Punjab are due to arrive in the area.

Steve Jones, of Help the Aged, said: "It is essential that older people are treated as a group with special and particular needs in these emergency situations as they usually get forgotten when disaster strikes."

Oxfam aid worker Shaista Aziz said the situation in Muzaffarabad was "desperate" with thousands of people without shelter.

The amount of relief committed by the Department for International Development (DfID) has doubled in the last day to more than 2m, and will continue to rise, said officials.

Around 10,000 tarpaulins, 1,000 winterised family tents and 700 blankets were loaded on trucks in Lahore on Tuesday to be handed over to Islamic Relief in Muzaffarabad for distribution.

Meanwhile British families of those caught up in the disaster are continuing their anxious wait for news.

With up to 1.5 million Britons affected, the Pakistan High Commission in London is issuing hundreds of visas to families flying out to search for relatives.

020 7008 1500

British search and rescue teams including the International Rescue Corps (IRC) and Rapid UK are working in the region.

The teams had between them made nine live rescues by Tuesday, five in Islamabad and four in Muzaffarabad.

The United Nations has launched a Flash Appeal for around $272m (151m) for Pakistan, to help fund life-saving and recovery activities for a six-month emergency period.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific