Published: 12:00 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 16 March 2011
Barnabas helps flood-affected Christians in Pakistan
Project(s): 00-634, 41-919
Eight months after Pakistan was engulfed by torrential flooding, the crisis is far from over, with millions of people still homeless and in need of emergency aid.
Thousands of Christians were affected by the disaster, and because they are already marginalised and discriminated against in Pakistan society, the impact on them was all the more severe. They were often the last to be rescued and ignored when aid was distributed.
Barnabas Fund stepped in with emergency relief at the height of the crisis and is continuing to support Christian families – many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods – as they attempt to rebuild their lives. We are funding long-term rehabilitation projects including home rebuilding as well as helping families with their everyday needs through our feeding programme.
|Younas and Zarina (right) with their son Yousaf, daughter-in-law Razia and grandson Methew (left)|
At present 860 Christian families are receiving monthly food parcels, thanks to Barnabas supporters who “sponsor” a family for £30 a month. This frees up the little money the family has for other needs, such as building materials, replacing lost possessions, medical care and education. The parcels contain basic foods including rice, flour, grains, pulses, dry milk, cooking oil, tea, sugar, salt and spices.
The family of 60-year-old Younas is one that is benefiting from Barnabas Fund support. Younas, his wife Zarina, their son Yousaf, daughter-in-law Razia and two-year-old grandson Methew, are still sleeping in a church hall after their home was destroyed by the floods. Our partners have started to rebuild their house, and the family is receiving the monthly food parcels.
After all we have gone through in the past months we can now see a beacon of light. We have hope that life will be back to normal again in one or two years from now. The Lord brought us brothers and sisters from far to help us in our time of need. We are full of joy and very thankful. Every day we remember our sponsors in our prayers.
In July last year torrential monsoon rains pounded the north-west and centre of Pakistan; these areas were deluged by the highest recorded rainfall in the last 80 years. Heavy rain continued into August, extending the flood zone from the Swat Valley in the north to Sindh province in the south. It was the worst catastrophe in Pakistan’s 63-year existence:
- Almost 2,000 people were killed
- 1.7m homes were destroyed
- 17m people were affected
- More than 5.4m acres of farmland were ruined
- 1.2m livestock drowned
Flood waters are still engulfing large areas in the south, preventing people from returning home. Contagious diseases such as dengue and cholera are spreading. In the north people are currently living in the freezing winter conditions in what remains of their homes. Food shortages have driven prices up while many people have lost their jobs and income.
The government is struggling to manage the situation and has been accused of corruption and maladministration in the distribution of resources.
You can sponsor a Pakistani Christian family who has been affected by the flooding for just £30 (US$45; €35; AU$54; NZ$65) a month. If you are a UK supporter click here to donate online. Alternatively, please contact your nearest office and we will send you the appropriate regular giving form. Supporters of this scheme receive a twice-yearly newsletter.
One-off donations may be made to the 00-634 Disaster Relief Fund for emergency relief, blankets, clothes, rebuilding homes and other needs.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 00-634 (Disaster relief Fund).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/634 to 70007
To view all previous press releases on the Pakistan floods
- 1Pakistan - General Fund 41-980
- 2Disaster Relief
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