The words “heart wrenching” and “incomprehensible” were terms used in reports concerning the devastation in Pakistan experienced as the result of monsoon floods. According to a 16 Aug 10 report posted by Christian Today, an estimated 20 million people were impacted by the floods.
The Christian Today report quoted Anita Cole, programme development and quality director for World Vision Pakistan, as saying “The scale of the response needed by all humanitarian actors is almost incomprehensible.” The report related that to date, more than 1,500 people were and at least 2 million people have been made homeless.
The Christian Today report related that World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, has distributed food and water to more than 21,000 people and has opened five emergency health clinics to treat flood victims suffering from water-borne diseases.
According to a 15 Aug 10 BBC report, “Health experts are warning that the threat of epidemics in flood-hit areas is growing.” The report related that “the UN launched a $459m appeal for emergency aid for Pakistan. It said that billions of dollars would be needed in the long term.” The BBC report stated that the UN has committed $27M from its emergency relief fund and is making repeated calls for assistance from international aid organizations. The report related that the United States has donated $70M.
According to a 13 Aug 10 Catholic News report, “Church-led charities in Pakistan have stepped up their flood relief efforts in response to a message from the Pope, despite being hampered by devastating conditions.” The report related that Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican arm of national Catholic charities, is seeking $5.5 million to fund the next three months of Catholic relief efforts in Pakistan.
The Catholic News report quoted Carolyn Fanelli, head of programming and acting country representative for Catholic Relief Services in Pakistan as saying, "With continuing rains and floods spreading to more areas, the challenge before us is growing by the day."
A 12 Aug 10 Catholic News Service report quoted Anila J. Gill, national executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan, as saying, "The destruction and human suffering caused by the floods is colossal. Thousands have nothing left and are living in the open." Gill continued, “The people are in trauma. The challenge now is to support them to survive and overcome the tragedy."
According to the Catholic News Service report, Catholic Charities are sending funds, but Gill related that the number of disasters around the world has depleted funds. Gill said, "It's unfortunate that we have already used much of our urgent relief funds. We sent $400,000 to aid the earthquake victims in Haiti and $50,000 to Chile earlier this year."
Cited Articles and Posts
Christian Today (16 Aug 10)
BBC (15 Aug 10)
Catholic News (13 Aug 10)
Catholic News Service (12 Aug 10)