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The earthquake that hit Pakistan earlier this month has claimed the lives of 80,000 people. It continues to make victims–people dying from disease and lack of care. With winter coming, many more could die. UNICEF reports that it has had significant trouble raising money for the victims.

Despite dire warnings of a looming calamity, the United Nations has had difficulty raising money for the quake victims. As of Friday, it had received just 20 percent of the $550 million it needs for the next six months. Officials have warned that the shortfall could force U.N. helicopters to stop flying as early as this week.

UNICEF controls $62 million of the aid pledge, but has so far received just $13.5 million.

Veneman, a former secretary of agriculture in the Bush administration, joined a chorus of voices calling on the world to act.

“Without urgent action, large numbers of children could die needlessly,” she said, adding that she believed that aid has been slower to arrive because of the many natural calamities over the past year, including last December’s tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

Please donate whatever you can, even if it’s just $5. Here is the American site for UNICEF, where you can make a contribution.

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