Written by: Rameen Mufti

The coronavirus pandemic, that started from Wuhan, China, has now seeped into 209 countries of the world with over 50,000 mortalities and more than a million people affected worldwide. As of April 2020, the number of cases in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir were 13,328 and 15 which have now, in December, soared up to 475k and 8,325 respectively. With this, Pakistan is also on the brink of experiencing a new Covid-19 variant- which emerged first in the UK- as three patients, carrying this genotype, have been reported in Sindh.

This situation, with a rising number of patients and coming of the new wave, has been difficult for Azad Kashmir. It has marred the region’s economy as seasonal and international migration is restricted, SME’s are facing cash-flow shortage and employees are being laid off. In these dire times, it is important for the government and organizations to play their part in creating an enabling environment for businesses and workers.

Seeds Foundation has shown exemplary commitment towards this cause by providing online and certified vocational training, such as ESOL, to the people of Azad Kashmir to protect them from the brunt of unemployment and create work opportunities for them online and at home. In light of this contribution to the people of Azad Kashmir, Chairman of the Foundation, Farooq Mir, is of the view that: “In hard times it is important to find a viable and sustainable solution to the people’s problems; one that will not only help them overcome the present crisis but also build a better future. Our vocational training initiatives play such a part and we hope that it will not only benefit in combatting Covid-19 but also the cycle of poverty.

Every Winter you save lives

Every winter, families who thought they had already witnessed the worst hardship imaginable have to contend with the threat of winter.

Every cold night of winter, a staggering 821 million people will go to bed hungry. That’s one in every nine people.

Each year, winter attacks the world’s most vulnerable. Families forced to flee their homes walk miles in sub- zero temperatures and make perilous sea crossings to find safety. Children and the elderly freeze to death in camps or lose their lives in flimsy tents that catch fire due to unsafe heaters.

But every winter, you come through for the world’s most vulnerable, supporting them with waterproof sheeting, warm clothing, mattresses, food, and heating.

Every winter, you save lives.

How you saved lives last winter

In all, your donations last winter helped 116,540 people across seven countries.

You provided:

– 155,200 litres of heater fuel to displaced Syrians,

– 10,351 people with warm winter clothing in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, and Pakistan,

– 4,581 people with thick winter blankets in Lebanon, Syria, and Somalia,

– 75,150 winter coats to vulnerable people in the UK.

How did your donations help in each country?

Last winter, you provided:

– blankets, food, and heating fuel to help 18,692 Syrian refugees in Lebanon

– warm winter clothing to over 4,000 people in Palestine

– warm clothes to 250 orphans and their families in Pakistan

– waterproof sheeting and blankets to 1,871 displaced Somali people

– blankets, waterproof sheeting, clothes, stoves and fuel to 11,808 people in Syria

– clothes, mattresses, and blankets to 3,642 newly-displaced people in Yemen.

– warm winter coats to 75,150 vulnerable people in the UK.

Thank you

We can’t thank you enough for your continued support of the most vulnerable families.

This year, as COVID-19 threatens lives through winter, Human Appeal’s life-saving winter work has never been more vital. It may not seem much but just one warm blanket or nutritious food parcel can be the difference between life or death for a family.

We’ll be distributing warm clothing, food, heating oil, blankets and shelter to support families struggling to survive freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and icy winds in nine countries.