James Caan, the entrepreneur and one of the stars of BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den, will front the British Pakistan Foundation’s campaign to raise £100,000 to help the victims of floods in Pakistan.
Caan, a Pakistan-born businessman who is chairman of the foundation, is appealing for donations to help Unicef provide support for the estimated 3.2 million people who have been affected by the recent flooding.
Unicef, the UN organisation that focuses on children and children’s rights, will use the money to vaccinate children and provide clean water and sanitation.
If £100,000 is raised, it will enable Unicef to help 10,000 families. About 1,400 people are believed to have died in the floods so far.
Caan said: "It’s hard to imagine the panic and desperation families are facing as they see their homes swimming in muddy water, their crops washed away and the roads they turn to for escape completely submerged.
"People are trying to save themselves by climbing trees or scrambling onto rooftops, and my thoughts are with all of those living through this nightmare.
"One of the saddest stories I’ve heard is from a Unicef representative who spoke of families carrying the corpses of loved ones up into the trees and holding on to them until they can be buried properly."
Caan said that, by donating to Unicef online, the public could ensure that "as many children as possible survive this terrible tragedy".
So far £7m has been raised by the Pakistan Flood Appeal, launched on 2 August by the Disasters Emergency Committee. A DEC spokeswoman said the amount raised was a "great start" and it was encouraging people to continue giving.
In January this year, the DEC's Haiti Earthquake Appeal raised £25m in its first five days.