Houston: Hurricane Harvey with a force of Category 4 hit southern coast of Texas at Galveston and Rockport on Friday 25 August 2017 causing widespread displacement of people, flooding and damage to property along the southern coast of Texas and affecting Houston in particular.
Over the last six days many areas remained underwater while relief and rescue work by the local administration and by the citizens themselves was undertaken. Thousands of people have been housed in temporary shelters including mosques across the city of Houston.
While overseeing the distribution of food boxes for needy families affected by Hurricane Harvey, Ms. Aisha Farooqui, Consul General Houston said that she was proud of the Pakistani American community’s efforts to reach out and help not just the Pakistani families but all the other communities in Houston.
The Consulate has made efforts to remain engaged and accessible to the community during this crisis. Emergency contact numbers of Consulate staff have been disseminated for facilitation of community members on the official website of the Consulate as well as circulated through twitter and facebook, The Consulate resumed working since Monday, 28 August 2017 for consular services.
The Consulate is also leading the effort for coordinating relief work for affected members of our community as well as for the wider Houstonian community by liaising with diverse Pakistani American community leaders and community organizations such as Pakistan Association of Greater Houston (PAGH), Houston-Karachi Sister City association, Islamic Society of Houston etc. to establish a distribution focal point for supply of dry ration boxes at Pakistan Centre which is centrally located enabling needy communities and families to obtain free food boxes. This food supply distribution point commenced on 29 August catering to not only Pakistani community in need but also other communities in the vicinity. Community members have pooled resources for a joint relief effort including Mr. Javaid Anwer in Midlands, Mr. Amir Makhani in Dallas, Mr. Shahzad Bashir in Houston and many more individuals and associations.
The Consulate in collaboration with Pakistani American Doctors association, APPNA is also establishing a mini clinic at Pakistan Centre for emergency medical attention to needy community members. Moreover, APPNA has also deployed volunteer doctors at main shelters in the city for urgent medical assistance to the affectees. Moreover, they are also partnering in supply of essential items to those needing immediate assistance in city shelters. APPNA Executive committee also announced a donation of USD 10,000 to implement their relief assistance to the needy members of our community as well as wider Houstonian community.
Pakistani American community which according to one estimate numbers almost 200,000 in Houston has been at the forefront of relief efforts for needy members of the community as well as assisting other communities.