Futafut flood relief programme A helping hand to the Aam Aadmi (common man) | By Ikram Sehgal


Futafut flood relief programme A helping hand to the Aam Aadmi (common man)

DESPITE Pakistan being one of the lowest contributors to climate change, it is one of the countries that are most impacted by climate change in the world.

For the past two decades, Pakistan has consistently been one of the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Climate experts believe that global warming has led to substantial changes in weather patterns around the globe.

In the case of Pakistan, this has turned normal monsoon seasons and hot months into extreme weather events.

During the past few months, Pakistan has seen the worst monsoon of its history. The resultant floods have taken the entire country in a whirl.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan, there have been nearly 1,400 fatalities and more than 12,000 injuries, with around 600,000 people living in relief camps.

A total of 33 million people have been affected in some way due to the calamity. Although it is impossible to monetize the loss of human lives, an estimated loss of $10 billion has been caused so far, according to Pakistan’s Planning Minister.

While the full extent of the disaster is unknown, it is expected that these numbers will keep growing.

Over the course of one week, 1,000 km of roads and more than 55,000 houses in the country were either damaged or destroyed.

This brings the total of damaged houses to nearly 1.2 million.32 districts in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, and 17 in the KP have been notified as ‘calamity hit’. 22,000 schools have also been reportedly damaged with tens of thousands of students unable to continue their formal education.

These numbers are shocking enough to ring alarm bells in the international community, to send across a message that Pakistan is in dire need of global support, more now than ever.

“The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids”, the UN’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said in a video message, calling out the international community to come to Pakistan’s aid in these depressing times.

His message was clear & loud: “Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change.

Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country. ” Futafut Services (PVT) Ltd has made it clear since day one that we are not just bringing a delivery app, but a lifestyle to the people of Pakistan.

In collaboration with Asaan (easy) Mobile Account (AMA), we strive to make lives easier for our people.

We want to assure our people that Futafut stands right beside them in these times of distress, ready to lend a hand when and where required.

We, at Futafut, have devised a program where we plan to provide aid to the flood affected people in a robust and swift manner.

We have an existing platform called the Futafut app, where we are developing a vast network of customers who can shop online.

These customers have a wide range of products to shop from, that are then delivered by Futafut riders.

This same platform will now also be used to manage the flood relief drive. We will start off by collecting funds through two different channels: Social disbursements and Digital store.

Social disbursements relate to donations that are received through conventional means, including those from non-profit organizations, governments, individuals or any other entities.

The channel of Digital store will work differently. Under this, a virtual store will be created on the Futafut app, with a variety of packages containing the essential goods required by the people struggling in the flood affected areas.

These packages will be designed according to varying needs of different households, based on the number of people in a family, their genders, ages etc.

We take it upon ourselves to ensure that these packages cover all the basic necessities of life that may be required by the needy families.

Each package will be priced appropriately based on its contents. Customers browsing through this Digital store, who wish to make a donation, may purchase a package of their choice and pay through digital means, exactly like any other purchase done on the Futafut app.

All the funds collected through either of these means will be stored in a pool account. In the next phase of the process, our team will connect with retailers operating in the affected areas along with establishing our own distribution channels, to be used as hubs for the disbursement of goods.

Side by side, we will compile a list of verified beneficiaries, who have truly faced the harsh impact of the floods.

These beneficiaries will be registered as households, with complete information of their family structure stored with us.

A bank account through AMA will be opened for each beneficiary, for their help. Once we have a network of retailers in the appropriate areas set up, all that would need to be done by the beneficiaries would be to take their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) to a registered retailer, get a simple biometric verification done (to keep a safety check), and receive a donation package that best suits the structure and requirements of their family.

Immediately after the biometric verification is done, funds will leave the pool account and get transferred to the beneficiary’s Asaan Mobile Account (AMA), and from there onwards to a second pool account, which will be used to settle the retailers, or in case of advance payment, this account will act as a recovery pool for Futafut.

As creators of an eco-system targeted to serve the common people, we aim to make this whole process as smooth and straightforward as possible.

These people who are in need right now are an essential part of our community, and we intend to bail them out of this tragedy using all the means we can put together.

We must reiterate here that one person or entity cannot erase the effects of a natural disaster altogether, but can soften the blow and lessen the pain of the affected people by playing their part.

Futafut is keen to play its part and lend a helping hand to its people. We urge the international community to help us rehabilitate the lives of people facing these hardships. Pakistan needs us. Our people need us.

—The writer is a defence analyst and security expert, based in Karachi.


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