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

The United Church of Christ has issued an emergency call for aid and recovery gifts in response to what it calls “massive flooding” across much of Pakistan.

Wider Church Ministries launched the UCC Pakistan Response Fund on September 16th.

The torrential monsoon since June has drained almost five times the amount of rain the country normally receives. So far, the resulting floods have:

  • Killed more than 1,400 people
  • 30 million people affected and 800,000 displaced
  • Damaged or destroyed 1 million homes, plus farms, livestock, roads, bridges, schools and more.
A house in Jhudo, Pakistan’s Sindh province, is surrounded by floodwaters. Many people lost homes, crops, livestock – and even their lives – in the catastrophic floods. (CWSA photo)

A third of the country is still under water

“The situation in Pakistan remains grim with more than a third of the country still under water,” said Rev. Josh Baird, who leads the UCC’s Global HOPE team. “The most pressing needs are food, clean water and sanitation, and emergency shelter.

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“In areas where the water has not receded, people are forced to build temporary shelters on every piece of dry land they can access — often along roadsides.”

“At its peak, 73 percent of Pakistan’s districts were affected by flooding,” the appeal’s website said. “…More than half of its districts have been declared ‘disasters’ by the government – a number expected to rise as rains continue and floods sweep through Punjab and Sindh provinces.”

A health worker provides information on preventive diseases and hygiene practices after massive flooding.
Community World Service Asia’s mobile clinic brings medical supplies to communities devastated by floods in Pakistan. Photo: CWSA

The churches of the world are responding together

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has described the crisis as an “unprecedented natural disaster” caused by “the worsening of climate change”. “No country deserves this fate, especially countries like Pakistan, which have contributed almost nothing to global warming,” he said. He called for “massive financial support” from the international community, particularly from “countries that have contributed more to climate change.”

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Baird said UCC is working with ecumenical partners to respond.

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

“With more than 6.4 million people expected to be in need of humanitarian assistance, we anticipate working with impacted communities to restore homes and livelihoods for many years to come.”

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

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

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