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American International Group Disaster Relief Fund Supports Disaster Preparedness Initiatives in Quake-Affected Areas
Pakistan - The government of Pakistan's local and district-level capacity to prepare and respond to disasters, such as last year's devastating earthquake, will be bolstered by a generous financial contribution from the American International Group Disaster Relief Fund (AIG DRF). The US$1,016,627.82 donation made possible by AIG and its employees, will contribute to the establishment of rapid response teams and support hubs in earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan.

"IOM recognizes this generous financial contribution by AIG employees to ease the suffering of those affected by the last year's earthquake," said Hassan Abdel Moneim Mostafa, IOM Regional Representative in Islamabad. "IOM staff in Pakistan thank all AIG employees for making a difference in our humanitarian work. This support is very timely and will save many lives in the earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan."

According to a document on disaster management policies and systems in Pakistan, the country lies in a seismic belt which explains the frequent earthquakes. Mountain ranges are significantly vulnerable and the devastation can be immense because of the poor quality of buildings.

The October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir claimed over 73,000 lives, severely wounded 70,000 people and left nearly 2.8 million people homeless.

The funds will be used for a newly-designed project, which complements the Early Recovery Plan of the government of Pakistan and the UN. It will focus on capacity building for provincial governments and civil society in order to improve their ability to monitor and quickly respond to earthquakes, as well as other emergencies like landslides, severe storms, and floods in these areas.

It will also provide training for local administrators to build and strengthen local and district-level disaster preparedness and response capacity. The planned activities will include dissemination of information to the population, monitoring of critical areas, and communication links to the outside world.

With this new IOM initiative, professionally trained and fully equipped local-level disaster preparedness teams will be in place this winter to provide immediate response in case of emergencies.

AIG DISASTER RELIEF FUND

The AIG Disaster Relief Fund (“DRF”) is a global charitable organization that was formed by American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) to encourage a wide range of philanthropic endeavours, including providing assistance to victims of manmade and natural disaster and emergencies around the world. The DRF is funded by generous donations from AIG and its employees, whose contributions are matched by AIG.

AIG and its employees around the world have a long-standing tradition of responding in times of need, and are extremely proud of the significant impact that their contributions have made in the lives of communities affected by tragic events. Since its inception in 2003, the DRF has contributed over $9 million in aid to emergency relief organizations in their mission to deliver food, shelter, and medical relief to those who need it most.

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC. (AIG)

American International Group, Inc. (AIG), world leaders in insurance and financial services, is the leading international insurance organization with operations in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional and individual customers through the most extensive worldwide property-casualty and life insurance networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of retirement services, financial services and asset management around the world. AIG's common stock is listed in the U.S. on the New York Stock Exchange as well as the stock exchanges in London, Paris, Switzerland and Tokyo.

For more information please contact:

Saleem Rehmat
IOM Pakistan
E-mail: srehmat@iom.int