05 August 2010
Pakistan flood response
As government, military and aid workers battle to reach the thousands in desperate need, Pakistani Christians are calling on the British church to financially support Christians in Pakistan working to bring relief.
The British Pakistani Christian Association, a member of the South Asian Forum, is one of several groups opening up a relief fund. Full details can be found on their website.
"We are asking brothers and sisters up and down the country to pray for a speedy restoration of the homes and livelihoods of the affected local people," says Wilson Chowdhry, Vice-Chairman of BPCA.
"We ask for you to pray for calm to be restored to an area that has only recently survived fighting between the Taliban and the Pakistan army and is now faced with one of its worst ever natural disasters. The BPCA is raising a fund for the victims of the flooding. The money raised will not be used in any projects that are singularly for the benefit of the Christian community but will be used in generic, inclusive projects."
Charsadda District, below the Swat Valley in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Province is one of the worst-affected areas. Low-lying fertile land makes it particularly vulnerable. Charsadda District administration has issued an appeal for emergency humanitarian support to be provided to over 100,000 people affected by floods there.
The Church Mission Society (CMS) UK is responding through its partner organisation, Pak Mission Society. PMS, a local organisation based in Abbotabad, has carried out a rapid assessment on around 30 villages downstream of the Munda Head Works on River Swat, an area spread over about 20 to 25 square kilometers with a population of approximately 35,000. "Floods have swept away thousands of mud homes," they report. "Some of the villages had a bad smell. A lot of livestock is buried under that mud. In some places, people are living outside their damaged homes on their own land; others have moved to a near by school or community centre. Some of the community members are living under an open sky, under the shade of trees."
Their immediate need is shelter, clean water, food, hygiene kits, and medical supplies. PMS has distributed enough flour, rice, beans, pulses, ghee, sugar, spices and tea for a week to the most vulnerable. PMS will work long term with these communities to alleviate poverty and increase levels of prevention preparedness for future flooding.
PMS has experience of responding to the 2005 earthquake and the floods in the south-west of Pakistan in 2007.
Donations for Pak Mission Society can be sent to CMS Britain or by post to CMS, Watlington Road, Oxford, OX4 6BZ quoting reference PK025. Donations may also be sent to any of the usual aid and relief agencies.
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