Meta donates Rs125 million to Pakistan on account of flood relief

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KARACHI: The tech giant Meta has announced to contribute Rs125 million to the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Hands, and Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) to help communities impacted by the cataclysmic floods in Pakistan.

A statement released by Meta — the parent company of Facebook and other social media platforms — on Wednesday said that the donation will support emergency aid, food, water, sanitation and help children get back to school in Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.

“Pakistan is going through one of the worst natural disasters we have seen to date. Millions of people are affected and the entire nation is rallying to support them during this difficult time. We hope that our contributions help the communities impacted by the catastrophe and our thoughts are with these communities and families as they try to recover,” the statement quoted Director for Emerging Markets, APAC at Meta Jordi Fornies as saying.

The company said it had activated the Safety Check feature on Facebook when the floods hit Pakistan this July, allowing people to let friends and family know they were safe. Meanwhile, a crisis page was also established where people could use the Community Help feature to enable people to ask for and offer help from different communities.

Additionally, Meta’s “Data for Good” activated its Disaster Maps program and is providing data to regional response partners. One of those partners, CrisisReady (a collaboration between Direct Relief and Harvard University), has focused on combining data sources into situation reports being used daily by thousands of on-the-ground first responders.

“The torrential monsoon rains over the past weeks have damaged or completely washed away people’s houses, critically affecting millions of people, including children. With winter just weeks away in some parts of the country, we need urgent help to continue our relief efforts in Pakistan and support for children and their families. We express our gratitude to Meta for all the support,” said Michael J Nyenhuis, President and CEO of UNICEF USA.

Communities across various Meta-owned platforms have raised more than a million dollars for non-profits supporting flood relief efforts. Leading NGOs across the globe have also raised substantial amounts via Facebook and Instagram.

Commenting on the development, ITA CEO Baela Raza Jamil, said:

“We will rehabilitate schools, ensure 2nd Chance Accelerated learning programs with life skills (psychosocial support, climate change and digital literacy), and provide hygiene & health with dignity kits. This is a comprehensive and inclusive approach to #BuildingBackBetter by reaching homes, communities, schools, parents, children, and especially adolescent girls and teachers embedded within government systems for effective emergency response and preparedness.”

Meta is continuously exploring further avenues to facilitate not just families in the devastated regions but also supporting NGOs and other causes in their efforts, the statement concluded.