Church of Pakistan Flood Relief

STORIES
First published on: 22nd December 2022

When floods hit Pakistan in August of this year, devastating vast swathes of the country, 33 million women, men and children were displaced as the waters rose. With loss of homes and critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges, came the destruction of over a million livestock and nearly four million acres of crops. The monsoon rains, five-fold their 30-year average this year, gave rise to a humanitarian crisis that threatened to engulf the emergency relief effort, too.

The Church of Pakistan, working in tandem with government departments and civil organisation partners, quickly put to good use its previous experience of responding to emergencies. In Fazilpur, in the most effected part of southern Punjab, it identified an area of five villages where it could make a real difference. Ensuring it had the backing of local religious leaders, it put together a plan of action that would bring food, medicine, and shelter to those subsisting under the sky by the side of the road. Its aim was to provide immediate relief for 500 families, around 2,500 to 3,500 people in all, who were likely to miss out on government aid, and to equip the beneficiaries with the necessary knowledge and skills to cope with the ongoing crisis and manage the threat of disease.

Supported by USPG and other partners, in October the Church delivered waterproof tents and blankets, and food items such as rice, lentils, and chickpeas to the families, and established on-going access to food security. It also provided them with safe, clean drinking water, ensuring they had an alternative to drinking disease-ridden water caused by flood damage to supply systems and sanitation facilities. The means to clean drainages and waterways were supplied and households were trained on hygiene practices to prevent the spread of diarrhoea, typhoid, skin infections, and other diseases.  

In recognising the efforts of its church partners and the support of USPG, the Most Rev Dr Azad Marshall, Bishop of Raiwind and Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, said the “Lord loves us and never leaves us in difficult times, and this is how we witness the love of Jesus Christ for the world."