Church Support Helps Survivors of Devastating Pakistan Flooding

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The Church is working with ShelterBox, Islamic Relief and UNHCR to get relief to thousands of people affected by last year’s flooding in Pakistan

More than a year after historic floods devastated Pakistan, global humanitarian and nonprofit organizations remain on the ground, working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help the people affected.

For example, the Church has supported the work of ShelterBoxIslamic Relief and UNCHR as the organizations work to provide relief to flooding survivors and rebuild communities. UNCHR is the United Nations’ refugee agency.

One in seven Pakistanis were affected in some way, and a third of the country was submerged, reported Islamic Relief.

Ghulam, whose last name was not given for her privacy, was pregnant when the floods approached her village in Pakistan in August 2022. Her family found it difficult to save anything.

They lost their home and belongings, including all their livestock, which was their only means of income.

“This disaster was nothing like we ever faced, whole villages were destroyed. We carried all that we could, most of our belongings were lost,” Ghulam said.

Bahadur Khan and his family also lost their home and all their belongings in the monsoon flooding. They are Afghan refugees who were living in Pakistan when the rain and flash flooding began.

“That night was unforgettable as our house was inundated within minutes. We had no other option but to leave at once,” said Khan.

The waters broke through a nearby embankment on the Kabul River early in the morning, and he only had 10 minutes to get his family to higher ground.

This was the third time Kahn has been uprooted in his 60 years.

“We fled Afghanistan when civil war broke out in the early 1990s. Then I had to move again when my house was completely destroyed after floods washed it away in 2010,” he said.

Bahadur is one of approximately 1.3 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. An estimated 250,000 Afghans fled to Pakistan in the first half of 2022 alone, reported the UNHCR.

Most Afghan refugees live in impoverished areas, and the flooding made things much worse.

With support from the Church and donations made at Giving Machines in 2022, UNHCR was able to provide on-the-ground support.

More than 1,000 individuals, including families, were able to receive shelter and other core relief items, such as high thermal fleece blankets, sleeping mats and kitchen cooking sets.

Meanwhile, the Church also worked with ShelterBox and Islamic Relief to provide cash grants to families who lost everything in the floods. 

Ghulam and her family reside in temporary housing after flooding destroyed their home in Pakistan.

Ghulam said they were poor before the floods, but the floods made it worse. Her husband is disabled, and the cash grant helped them meet immediate and long-term needs.

“We needed food to eat for our family. Along with that, clothes to wear in the extreme winters. We took a loan from someone and repaid it with the cash grant. I got a hand pump installed in my home for my daughters as they had to walk miles alone to drink water, which was unsafe.” 

She was also able to buy goats to replace those lost in the floods.

“We will use the goats we have now to start a business and meet our needs,” she said.

Source: The Church News