Pakistan’s ‘dire’ flood crisis is subject of UCC emergency appeal

The United Church of Christ has issued an emergency appeal for relief-and-recovery gifts in response to what it called “massive flooding” across most of Pakistan.

Wider Church Ministries launched the UCC Pakistan Response Fund Sept. 16.

Torrential monsoons since June have dumped nearly five times as much rain as the country usually gets. So far, the resulting floods have:

  • Killed more than 1,400 people
  • Affected 30 million people and displaced 800,000
  • Damaged or destroyed 1 million homes, as well as farms, livestock, roads, bridges, schools and more.
A home in Jhudo in Pakistan’s Sindh province is surrounded by flood waters. Many people have lost houses, crops, livestock — and even their lives — in the catastrophic flooding. (CWSA photo)

One-third of country still submerged

“The situation in Pakistan remains dire as more than a third of the country is still under water,” said the Rev. Josh Baird, who heads the UCC’s Global H.O.P.E. team. “The most pressing needs are for food, clean water and sanitation, and emergency housing.

“In areas where the water has not receded, people are forced to construct temporary shelter on whatever dry patch of land they can access — often on the edge of roads.”

“At its peak, 73 percent of Pakistan’s districts were impacted by flooding,” the appeal’s web page says. “… More than half of its districts have been declared ‘calamity hit’ by the government — a number that is expected to rise as the rain continues and floods flow through the Punjab and Sindh provinces.”

A female health worker shares information on preventive diseases and hygiene practices following massive flooding.
Community World Service Asia’s mobile clinic is bringing health care to communities devastated by the floods in Pakistan. Photo: CWSA

World’s churches respond together

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called the crisis an “unprecedented natural disaster” caused by “the intensification of climate change.” “No country deserves this fate, but particularly not countries like Pakistan that have done almost nothing to contribute to global warming,” he said. He called on the international community for “massive financial support,” especially from “countries that have contributed more to climate change.”

Baird said the UCC is working with ecumenical partners to respond.

Community World Service Asia, a partner through the ACT Alliance, is meeting immediate needs “while laying the groundwork for long-term recovery,” he said. “Gifts to the Pakistan Appeal will support emergency relief and focus on providing long-term care through the gifting of items such as seed for fields and feed and vaccines for livestock.

“With more than 6.4 million people projected to require humanitarian assistance, we anticipate walking with affected communities for the restoration of homes and livelihoods for many years.”

People can donate electronically at this page by selecting “International Emergency” as the option and entering “Pakistan response” as the specific appeal. Gifts by check can be made payable to United Church of Christ, with “Pakistan Response Fund” noted in the memo section, and mailed to P.O. Box 71957 Cleveland, OH 44194.

Bheru, from Jhudo, Pakistan, stands in front of a row of small tents, where he currently is living with eight family members — including his parents and six children — on a dry patch near a road. He used to work as a daily laborer for PKR 600 (about $2.50) a day, but has no source of livelihood now. (CWSA photo)

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Categories: Disaster Updates United Church of Christ News

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