As the Gaza death toll rises to above 500 and the humanitarian crisis escalates with severe shortages of food and medical supplies, its disconcerting to see no notable organization or government agency going to the citizens of Pakistan to collect aid for our miserable brethren in Gaza. With thousands of people injured and tens of thousands more rendered homeless in very chilly weather, the aid needs to go immediately. There has been an outpouring of funds from countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE. According to The Arab News (of January 5), the total donations collected so far exceed SR125 million (app. Rs 2500 million), including several truckloads of relief supplies such as blankets, clothes and basic provisions. The Saudi government has also arranged for air ambulances to shuttle injured passengers between Areesh and Riyadh. Banks in Saudi Arabia, including National Banks and SAAB, have opened accounts for people to deposit their donations. We need to play our part too. I am confident that Pakistanis too will give an enthusiastic response to call for donation for this cause. We have many well-established multinational banks in our country, which can open up accounts to collect donations. I request the government to create a transparent mechanism for collection and transfer of funds to organizations concerned with distribution of aid to the Palestinians. -MEHAK HANIF, Karachi, via e-mail, January 5.