Currently more than 20 million Pakistanis have been affected by the worst natural disaster in Pakistan's history. That is more than the population of New York State. The enormity of this crisis is hard to fathom, the rain continues to fall, and the extent of the devastation is still difficult to gauge.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones, those who have been displaced from their homes, and those left without food or water. The United States has and continues to take swift action to help. But governments cannot be alone in helping the people of Pakistan.
That is why the United States Government through the Department of State has established the Pakistan Relief Fund for all Americans to join in this tremendous relief, recovery and reconstruction effort.
The pictures we see coming out of Pakistan are painful images of human suffering at its worst. In surveying the lives and landscape affected by this disaster, we see brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers; daughters and sons. We see 20 million members of the human family in desperate need of help. This is a defining moment - not only for Pakistan, but for all of us.
And now is a time for our shared humanity to move us to help. Americans have always shown great generosity to others facing crises around the world. And I call on you to do what you can. Every dollar makes a difference. $5 can buy 50 high energy bars providing much needed nutrition; $10 can provide a child or mother with a blanket; and about $40 can buy material to shelter a family of four.
So I urge my fellow Americans to join this effort and send much needed help to the people of Pakistan by contributing to the Department of State's Pakistan Relief Fund. Please go to www.state.gov or send $10 through your mobile phone by texting the word FLOOD, F-L-O-O-D, to 27722.
If we come together now, we can meet this challenge and ensure that future generations in Pakistan have a chance to have the bright future they deserve and fulfill their own God-given potential.