It’s been six months since flood waters caused unimaginable destruction across Pakistan. Devastatingly, more than 1,700 lives were lost. The UN has estimated that around 9 million people have been affected – many having lost their homes and livelihoods, and are now at risk of being pushed into poverty. In last week’s UN International Conference, Pakistan appealed for $16.3 billion to rebuild the country. Now, as the waters have receded leaving a path of destruction and devastation, it’s time for the Pakistani people to restore their lives and their communities. But they can’t do it alone.
Since the floods, shelter and access to food have become severe concerns for those affected. At least 5.4 million remain displaced with almost 600,000 currently sheltering in relief camps. With the loss of livestock and crops, not only have families in agricultural areas lost their only way to make a living, but they also face challenges with food security as food prices soar.
As displaced people return to their homes, damaged infrastructure, stagnant water and inadequate sanitation facilities put them at greater risk of water and vector-borne diseases and acute respiratory diseases – especially for children and the elderly. There is currently little clean water available for cooking, bathing and drinking, so families are forced to resort to contaminated water.
Jalal was at work when the river near his home overflowed. While his colleagues fled to preserve their household belongings, Jalal obeyed his boss and stayed for four hours to save the office furniture and documents.
“My wife carried the small children and went to Church before the flood entered our home to keep them safe,” says Jalal.
“I crossed five feet of water and saw that all my house goods were destroyed or swamped in the water. I tried to take them to a safe place but in vain, because the water was flowing with speed. There was no light, and it was pitch dark in my area. I left everything and went to Church to be with my children.
“I thank the Lord that my kids and wife are safe, but we lost our household goods and all our food.”
Bible Society has been working in Pakistan for years – partnering with churches to give the gift of literacy to non-literate people since 2014. Since the Bible Society team were already working in the flood-stricken provinces of South Punjab, Khyber Pakhtoon Khawn, Sindh and Baluchistan, they could act quickly to provide immediate emergency relief to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan who had lost everything in the floods. With the generosity of supporters, blankets and bedding, food, medicines, and toiletries could be provided to those most in need of help.
After Jalal lost all his household belongings, he and his family found refuge in their church and received emergency relief from the Bible Society team in Pakistan.
“The Pastor was so kind, and he provided us with food and shelter,” says Jalal.
“I am thankful to the Bible Society for providing us blankets, quilts, carts, pillows, food items and other usable items to start our new life.”
While this emergency relief was very much needed for families like Jalal’s, a time of adversity doesn’t often pass quickly and for the Pakistani people, a long journey of rebuilding lives and communities lies ahead.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”- Proverbs 17:17
Please help to provide aid in a time of adversity for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Give today to help rebuild communities and show practical love in their time of need.