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Imran Khan to Join Telethon Raising Funds for COVID-19 Fight

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Pakistan’s prime minister has urged philanthropists to donate generously to Corona Relief Fund

A telethon to raise funds for Pakistan’s fight against the novel coronavirus will be broadcast on all public and private channels today (Thursday) from 4 p.m., during which Prime Minister Imran Khan will personally urge citizens to donate generously to those worst affected by the ongoing pandemic.

“Join Prime Minister Imran Khan on a live telethon worldwide across different networks, including PTV Home, Hum TV, ARY Digital, Express Entertainment, Dunya News, Geo Entertainment, Samaa TV, Hum News, Geo News, Express News, Bol News, ARY News, PTV News and other online platforms,” Senator Faisal Javed Khan of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf posted on Twitter. The Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Telethon, he added, would commence from 4 p.m.

According to the senator, the telethon aims to raise awareness among Pakistanis—both in the country and abroad—about the need to help their countrymen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He said mobile phone companies would facilitate consumers in donating to the Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund by letting them text their desired funds to 6677.

In a video message, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the telethon was being arranged by the government to collect funds for people affected by the lockdowns enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19. “Government is distributing aid, but unfortunately there is a very large number of affected individuals and we need a lot more money [to take care of them],” he said, as he urged philanthropists to donate generously to the fundraising campaign.

This isn’t the first time the prime minister has appealed for donations to provide welfare to people affected by the economic slowdown. Earlier this month, he issued a video message for overseas Pakistanis in which he urged them to donate to the coronavirus relief fund to help the government’s efforts in combating the disease.

The government has since established a dedicated online portal to make it easier for expatriates to donate for rations for the needy. The P.M.’s COVID Relief Fund allows people to donate a lump sum ranging from $35 to $10,000. People can choose to set up monthly payments as well.

The PTI-led government has already announced that it would provide cash grants of Rs. 12,000 to around 12 million needy families across the country under the Ehsaas program to help them recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

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