Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a pledge of $100 million in humanitarian support for Pakistan. The aid is for the 1.2 million Pakistani civilians displaced by recent fighting in the Swat Valley. In addition, she discussed a new way for Americans to help the relief effort through a text message donation campaign powered by Mobile Accord's mGive. The SMS donation campaign asks supporters to text message the keyword SWAT to 20222 to donate $5.
In her briefing, Clinton stated:
We are working to support the Pakistani government in launching a text-messaging system that will alert local communities to assistance efforts and will help family members keep in touch.
We have been hard at work in this area for a number of weeks, looking for ways that we can get communications directly to people on the ground. And we know that a lot of the Pakistanis who are being displaced by the conflict have cell phones. So we're going to try to reach directly to them, not only to give them information that will be of assistance to them, but also to provide a way of connecting them up with other people, with the military, with the governing authorities.
Now, Americans can use technology to help, as well.Â Using your cell phones, Americans can text the word "SWAT" -- to the number 20222 and make a $5 contribution that will help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees provide tents, clothing, food, and medicine to hundreds of thousands of affected people. And before I came over here, we did that in the State Department. So we are making some of the first donations to this fund.
The funds go primarily to international assistance efforts that the United States is deeply involved in supporting and helping to coordinate. We're going to be providing a lot of in-kind contributions and we're going to be providing financial support to multilateral organizations and NGOs.
When asked if the Swat Valley situation could be improved in $5 increments, Clinton responded:
Well, I think we can do a lot to improve the conditions of the displaced people coming out of the conflict areas. I'm hoping that we'll have a big response to the text messaging. Just think if a million people in the United States gave at least $5, that's $5 million. And that would be a significant contribution from ordinary citizens, just people who care about what's happening.
Spread the word and text SWAT to 20222 and donate $5 to help those affected by fighting in the Swat Valley. You can give up to 5 times.
More info on the Text Message Pakistan Relief Campaign-
White House Blog- Secretary Clinton: Text Your Disaster Relief Donation for Pakistan
White House Briefing Room- Press Briefing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
The Washington Post- Clinton Announces Emergency Aid for Pakistan