22 Aug

Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake

The people of Pakistan desperately need help—and with the response from international donors “scant” so far,2 our friends at Avaaz, a international MoveOn-style group, are mobilizing to raise much-needed funds for Pakistan. 

Please check out their recent email, below, and give as much as you can to help relief efforts.

You can donate simply by clicking here:

Thanks for all you do.

–Kat, Laura, Lenore, Jeff, and the rest of the team


1. “Pakistan floods: disaster is the worst in the UN’s history,” The Telegraph, August 9, 2010

2. “Why is the world not responding as Pakistan drowns?” Reuters, August 19, 2010

Dear friends,


A humanitarian catastrophe of terrifying proportions is unfolding in Pakistan, with a fifth of the country under water, and millions of people homeless and desperately needing assistance.

Some relief efforts are underway, but the international response to the mega-disaster has been irresponsibly slow and weak—the UN has urgently appealed for $460 million of vital aid, but just 40% has been delivered.

Relief workers warn that without an immediate increase in aid the death toll could sky-rocket. We can help by sending funds directly to the most reliable aid organizations, and by pressing our governments to step up their efforts. Let’s show our leaders what generosity looks like, and demand that they join us. Click here to send a personal message to key donor governments:

And click here to donate to the relief effort:

After visiting the flood stricken areas, a visibly upset UN General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon, said “This has been a heart-wrenching day for me. In the past, I have visited many natural disasters, but I have never seen anything like this.”

Thousands of towns and villages have been washed away—roads, buildings, bridges, crops. Now people are stranded on tiny islands surrounded by flood waters. With no clean water to drink, cholera, diarrhea and other sicknesses are on the rise, threatening the millions of people who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

The international response so far has not matched that of previous large scale disasters. Organisations like UNICEF and WHO have said they lack the funds to provide adequate assistance.

The governments of the world need to do more, and we can lead by example. Let’s stand with Pakistan at this time of crisis, and ask important donor governments to do the same.

Click here to donate:

Click here to send a message:

Our community has risen to the challenge of awful disasters before. In 2008, Avaaz members raised over 2 million dollars for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma. Earlier this year, $1.4 million was raised for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Our ability to move quickly in times of crisis can make the difference between life or death for people struggling to cope with disaster. Let’s show the people of Pakistan that people and governments around the world stand with them in this awful crisis.

With hope,

Luis, Iain, Mia, Ricken, Paul, Giulia, Ben, David, Graziela, Pascal, Milena and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

UN Chief’s heart wrenching appeal for Pakistan flood victims:

Pakistan floods fail to spark strong global aid:

Death toll rises from Pakistan flooding:

Avaaz Burma Cyclone relief—

Avaaz Haiti Earthquake response—


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is an international civic organization established in 2007 [2] that promotes activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, and religious conflicts.[1] Its stated mission is to “ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making.” The organization operates in thirteen languages, and claims more than four million members worldwide.[2]


Etymology and origin

The name Avaaz (Persian: ???? ) was derived from the Persian word for ‘voice’ or ‘song’. was co-founded by Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group and non-profit organization, and MoveOn, an American non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee. The organization is also supported by Service Employees International Union, a founding partner, and Avaaz’s individual co-founders include Executive Director Ricken Patel, Virginia congressman Tom Perriello, Australian progressive entrepreneur David Madden, Jeremy Heimans, Andrea Woodhouse, Tom Pravda, and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser.[3]


Avaaz is managed by a team of campaigners working from Switzerland, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. They communicate with members via email, and employ campaigning tactics including online public petitions, videos, and email-your-leader tools.

Purpose, a for-profit company, states on its web site that “Purpose creates 21st century movements. We look for ways that movements can help solve major global problems. To do this, we work with some of the most exciting players in the new green and social economy to help them get to scale faster and some of the world’s biggest brands to mobilize their consumers for significant social impact,” and goes on to say that its principals co-founded Avaaz.[4]

At the 2007 G8 conference, protested against the “U.S. administration [for its] ‘wrecking tactics’ and failure to agree to specific, binding global goals” when it came to the mitigation of global warming. At the event, presented a petition signed by 355,000 people from 193 countries that supported its position.[5][6] Avaaz is also a co-organizer of the Global Day of Action for Burma along with Burma Campaign UK and Amnesty International. It has registered more than 750,000 signatures to a petition to the Chinese President Hu Jintao and the UN Security Council, urging them to “oppose a violent crackdown on the demonstrators” and “support genuine reconciliation and democracy”.[7] Avaaz delivered this petition to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on October 15, 2007.[8][9][dead link]

In March 2008, Avaaz launched a global petition to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tibet, calling “restraint and respect for human rights” and the opening of “meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama.”[10] This petition passed 1 million signatures in seven days, and has now reached more than 1.4 million signatures, making it among the largest and fastest-growing online petitions in history. The petition was delivered in protests and events at Chinese consulates and embassies around the world on March 31, 2008.[11]

The Avaaz video Stop the Clash of Civilizations, created with Agit-Pop Communications, won the YouTube 2007 Award in the “Political” category. It was, at one time, the all-time second most discussed video in the YouTube “News and Politics” section.[12][13] The video was also the winner of the 1st Annual DoGooderTV Non-Profit Video Awards[14] and the Popular Winner for Best Awareness-Raising Video in the 2007 Progressive Source Awards[15]

 Current campaigns


On 21 September 2009, staged a ‘global wake-up call’ to press world leaders to take action on climate. [3]

On 12 December 2009, organized 3241 candle-lit vigils in 139 countries, again to press those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 to reach a “Real Deal”.[4]

As of January 2009, was also running the following campaigns:

  • online petition against the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
  • online petition against violence, disease and hunger in Zimbabwe
  • ad campaign calling for a European peacekeeping force in war-torn Congo
  • online petition against the 2008 Mumbai attacks
  • online petition against the Anti-Homosexual Bill in Uganda

In March 2010, was also running the following campaign:

In June 2010, launched a petition calling for an investigation into the Israeli interception of a Gaza aid flotilla and the end of the Gaza blockade. It initially aimed to receive 200,000 signatories but this was met within 24 hours; a new target of 300,000 was again met within 24 hours, and a third was set at 500,000 signatories.[5] is active in campaigning to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani from imminent execution in Iran.[6]

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