DEC to launch an appeal for Kashmiri earthquake

Indira Das-Gupta

The Disasters Emergency Committee is launching an appeal for victims of the earthquake in Kashmir, which will be the committee's fourth campaign of the year.

The charity Muslim Aid, which has been at the forefront of the relief effort, said that virtually every school it has helped build in Kashmir has been damaged by the quake, which has claimed at least 30,000 lives.

Ibrahimse Mohamed, chief executive of Muslim Aid, said: "In some cases, as much as 50 per cent of the school building is damaged.

It will be years before they can be rebuilt.

"Our priority is to prevent the spread of disease and make sure people have tents and blankets as it will soon become cold."

ActionAid is sending staff and volunteers to assess the scale of the damage and provide medical assistance on both the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir.

Dr Unnikrishnan PV, emergencies and human security adviser at ActionAid, said: "Our engagement in recent earthquakes, such as those in Gujarat and Bam, shows it is extremely important to address physical disability and psycho-social problems, such as trauma, from the beginning."

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