Published: 12:00 GMT Standard Time - Monday 07 November 2011
Barnabas helps thousands of flood victims rebuild lives in Pakistan
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan
Pakistani Christians receive food packages supplied by Barnabas Aid
Over a year after Pakistan was devastated by one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history, Barnabas Aid is helping hundreds of Christian families to rebuild their lives.
The flooding, which started in July 2010, destroyed 5.4 million acres of land, washing away crops and leaving communities and livelihoods demolished. The disruption to the harvest process led to rocketing food prices, forcing families to buy supplies on credit or take out informal loans at high interest rates.
One of the affected provinces, Sindh, suffered renewed flooding this year as a result of the worst annual monsoon rains in 100 years.
Christians among worst affected
The poorest in society have been impacted hardest by the effects of the flooding. It is estimated that one-third of the population lives on less than US$1 a day and almost one-quarter is malnourished, 38 per cent of whom are children. Full recovery is likely to take three to five years, according to early government forecasts.
Most Christians in Pakistan are part of this vulnerable group, and they face additional problems of marginalisation and discrimination because of their faith in Christ.
Barnabas Aid stepped in with emergency relief at the height of the crisis and is providing ongoing support to Christian families – many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods – as they attempt to rebuild their lives.
Every month, 909 families receive a food parcel, which contains basic foods including rice, flour, lentils, dry milk, cooking oil, tea and sugar. This frees up their limited income to pay back debts incurred as a result of flood-related losses and also enables many of them to send to school children who would otherwise have to work to support their families.
One recipient said:
We never thought we would be in this condition so soon, but because of the Barnabas Aid support, life is coming to normality.
The help they are receiving is proving to be a positive witness of how Christians take care of each other in practical ways. A Christian community in Jacobabad, Sindh province, told Barnabas Aid that it is well known in their area how well and faithfully they are supported by their brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the waters submerged Jacobabad last year, residents were forced to evacuate and seek shelter in distant cities. The only ways to pay their travel expenses were to sell their belongings or borrow money, thus putting themselves into debt. Upon returning to their homes, they discovered that their houses had been plundered, making their loss even greater.
A year later, with support from Barnabas Aid’s feeding programme, they are repaying their debts, and 90 per cent of the families are able to send their children to school. Many are sharing what they receive through Barnabas with others at their churches.
Barnabas Aid sent extra aid to Christian families in Sindh who were also affected by this year’s flooding.
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. Click here 41-919 or contact your nearest office and we will send you a Direct Debit form. Supporters of this scheme receive a twice-yearly newsletter.
- For all the people affected by these terrible floods, that sufficient resources will be made available to meet their immediate needs, and for the authorities as they deal with the crisis
- For Christians caught up in the crisis, that aid will reach them quickly, and for our partners as they distribute essential supplies
- For the rains to stop, the floods to abate, and protection for the people from disease and further loss. Pray especially for the vulnerable children.
- 1Barnabas weekly newsletter 14 January 2011 - 2 years ago
- 2Prayer Focus 11/12 - 7 months ago
- 3Pakistan floods update: Barnabas helps Christians to re-establish livelihoods - 12 months ago
- 4URGENT: Stricken Pakistani Christians need help as the waters rise - 2 years ago
- 5Barnabas helps feed over 1,000 poor Christian families in Pakistan - 2 years ago
- 6Christians "falling out" of aid programmes in Horn of Africa food crisis - 2 years ago
- 7Easter Appeal 2011 - 2 years ago
- 8Housing persecuted Christians - 2 years ago