According to Mr. Sheryar Khan, Consul of Pakistan Consulate Sydney, the Consulate General of Pakistan in Sydney has formed a committee to help the affected individuals in New South Wales. The committee is based on professionals from various sectors of the economy including health, legal and community services. Mr Talib Haider of SBS Urdu write a special feature including exclusive Interview of the Consul General of Pakistan/ Trade Commissioner of Pakistan Muhammad Ashraf about the effects of Coronavirus on the Australian Pakistani Community and International Pakistani students. Sada-e-Watan Sydney is reprinting this special article with the thanks of SBS.
Volunteers join together to assist students and those affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak
(BY TALIB HAIDER)
Consul General of Pakistan in Sydney, Muhammad Ashraf told SBS Urdu that this
is a crucial time and many volunteers have come on board to help the Pakistani
diaspora in New South Wales.
“Several people are doing relief efforts by themselves. The consulate took the initiative to developed a coordination mechanism to avoid duplication and not miss out on any needy.
"The primary task of the Committee for COVID Relief Coordination (CCRC) is to cater to the students and Pakistanis stranded in Australia."
More than 80 Pakistanis stranded in Australia want to return home
Relief efforts in six major areas including food, medical, fees and legal advisory
Privacy of individuals will be maintained – Consul General
“There are two types of Pakistanis that currently require assistance,” Mr Ashraf told SBS Urdu.
“Firstly, there are those who came from Pakistan on a visit to Australia. But now they are unable to go back to Pakistan due to the unavailability of flights.
“We are contacting the relevant authorities in Pakistan with the possibility of arranging a return flight back home.”
“We have collected the data from these people. There are around 80 people who have shown interest that they want to go back home.
Mr Ashraf said the other issue is of Pakistani students who are facing major challenges in Australia especially economic hardship.
“The student model is based on funds from home as well as working part-time here to earn and spend on their living expenses.
You are not alone - A group of generous volunteers reaching "self isolated" Australians
“Due to the lockdown, there are no jobs which are affecting the students. They are not able to pay their expenses.”
Mr Ashraf says these are difficult times in Pakistan too but the Government of Pakistan is ensuring its citizens are safe overseas too.
Pakistan is also updating its lockdown requirements with the government opening a few sectors to restart their work recently.
Mr Ashraf says that the students are facing six types of hardships including food and grocery, travel expenses, insurance, medical and legal.
“We really appreciate the efforts of Pakistanis and people with Pakistani background who are tirelessly helping the community.
"The Consulate can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org."
“Kindly email us and we will get back to you. If you want to call, please contact us via Consulate number +61 2 9220 5600.”
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