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Earlier I mentioned a few ways you can donate to various relief agencies working for Pakistani refugees in the Swat valley and other areas affected by the ongoing warfare with the Taliban. Now comes the most innovative initiative for fundraising I’ve ever heard of: donations via SMS. In a nutshell, you text the word SWAT to 20222 from your cell phone, which automatically adds a $5 donation to the UN relief agency via a simple charge on your cell phone bill. The service is powered by mGive and can be used for essentially any fundraising initiative. The Pakistan relief program is administered by the United Nations and was announced today by Secretary Clinton herself at the State Department:

“Pakistan is facing a major humanitarian crisis. Approximately 2 million people have fled their homes, and Pakistan’s government, their military, and relief organizations are working to meet the needs of these displaced persons. So many are finding refuge with family members, or in schools or mosques; they are relying on the generosity of relatives and friends. And I’m confident that Pakistan’s institutions and citizens will succeed in confronting this humanitarian challenge if the international community steps up and provides the support that is needed. … Providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but we believe it is essential to global security and the security of the United States, and we are prepared to do more as the situation demands.”

The Secretary also invited the American people to join in the world-wide effort to bring stability to Pakistan: “Now, Americans can use technology to help, as well. 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.”

Here’s the video of Secretary Clinton’s announcement:

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