PAKISTAN: ACN releases emergency aid to flood victims

Flood victims in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan (© Aid to the Church in Need)
Flood victims in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan (© Aid to the Church in Need)

Thousands of families worst affected by the floods in Pakistan are to receive food parcels, shelter and medicine as part of an emergency aid package announced by a leading Catholic charity.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) today (Wednesday, 7th September) agreed two vital programmes for Sindh and Karachi in response to urgent appeals from Church leaders who warned of a health crisis sparked by people drinking contaminated water and the spread of malaria.

More than 5,000 families in Hyderabad diocese alone will receive ACN help totalling €200,000 (£172,000) including food parcels, mosquito nets and repellent.

Mobile health clinics will be set up as well as temporary shelters.

A further €30,000 (£25,000) will support people across Karachi and beyond, including hundreds of food packages, as well as hygiene kits and cooking utensils.

Details of ACN’s aid packages come after the charity pledged on Monday (5th September) to support flood victims. 

Saying that the floods had severely affected each parish across all 22 districts in Sindh, Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad told ACN: “Thousands of families are surrounded by flood water and thousands are sitting by the roadside with improper facilities.

“They have no food, no clean drinking water, no shelter, no latrines and no health facilities.”

The bishop spoke of a “mosquito menace” with a surge in malaria and other skin diseases and warned of a health catastrophe caused by people drinking contaminated water.

He said: “Many of the families have taken refuge in local churches as their houses have been flooded with rainwater, but many of the churches are also flooded, which has caused damage to church buildings and community centres in the diocese.”

Warning of more rains and increased devastation, Archbishop Benny Travas of Karachi said: “People are living under open sky, their houses damaged, floods have cut roads, commodity supply chains are badly disturbed.”

More than 1,340 people have died, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency. A reported 33 million are affected by the crisis.

Government climate change minister Sherry Rehman tweeted: “One-third of Pakistan is under water.”