Amidst the deluge of ridiculous news about the “Ground Zero Mosque,” I haven’t heard much about the devastating flood in Pakistan.

The flood, which hit three weeks ago, has inundated one-fifth of the country. The estimates of the number of people affected range from 6 to 14 million – which, despite the drastic difference, doesn’t change the fact that millions of people have been touched by the  natural disaster. The most recent estimate of number of people dead was 1,600, but this number will surely rise as humanitarian aid workers continue to trickle in.

And “trickle” is right. Compared to other recent tragedies – Haiti and the Gulf Coast oil spill – there has been very little media attention and even less aid coming from the West. Where’s the barrage of text donation messages on facebook? Where are the humanitarian ads? Why are we not hearing more about ways to donate to the people of Pakistan?

Some have attributed the relatively lackluster donation effort to western perceptions of Pakistan as a country that is home to terrorists. According to a June CNN poll, 78% of Americans had unfavorable attitudes about Pakistan.

Sadly, these unfavorable perceptions and fears of terrorism may in fact be keeping people away. (I have a lot to say on that matter, but I’ll save it for later.) However, I think the bigger reason is that media coverage has been so little, and humanitarian orgs are not stepping up to build buzz around this.

I know people may be fatigued by all the humanitarian issues out there, but if it’s as simple as sending a text for $5 or $10, why not? Shit, I spent $10 on dinner last night.

Below are some text donation options from mGive Foundation, an org that specializes in mobile technology for philanthropy. Please consider contributing:

  • For Central Asia Institute, text the word CAI to 50555 to give $10. Central Asia Institute provides community-based education opportunities in Pakistan & Afghanistan.
  • For CHF International, text the word PAKISTAN to 50555 to give $5. CHF International will provide transitional shelter, create livelihoods, and ultimately re-build Pakistan’s economic and social foundations.
  • For Islamic Society of North America, text the word RELIEF to 27722 to give $10. The Islamic Society of North America contributes to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large.
  • For UNHCR, text the word SWAT to 50555 to give $10. UNHCR emergency response teams are distributing tents, relief supplies, and humanitarian assistance to people displaced by the flooding.
  • For World Food Programme USA, text the word AID to 27722 to give $10. WFP will use helicopters to transport food to people in isolated communities across the Swat Valley.
  • For World Emergency Relief, text the word RESCUE to 50555 to give $10. Rescue Task Force is a San Diego County based non-profit relief agency that responds to natural and man-made disasters world-wide.
  • For Zakat Foundation of America, text the work ZAKATUS to 50555 to give $10. Zakat Foundation has begun to address the immediate needs of flood survivors by providing food and clothing in four key Pakistani districts.

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