It felt like everyone had forgotten about them — until a local Send Relief partner brought rations to their flooded village.
Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan has submerged one-third of the nation under water. The heavy monsoon rains displaced 3.1 million people and destroyed more than half a million homes. Many of those who lost their homes are now in displacement camps. Others are seeking higher ground. The disaster has, so far, left more than 1,200 people dead. More than 300 of the causalities are children.
Flooded fields have ruined crops, and news outlets report that hundreds of thousands of livestock have died, creating a food shortage. Many Pakistanis are without shelter, food and access to hygiene products and medicine.
One news outlet reported that damage will likely exceed $10 billion for a nation that was already facing significant challenges economically.
Send Relief, the combined compassion ministry effort of the International Mission Board (IMB) and the North American Mission Board, is actively responding to the crisis.
“Send Relief is bringing compassionate help and the hope of Christ to those suffering in the catastrophic flooding impacting one-third of Pakistan,” said Coy Webb, Send Relief’s Crisis Response Director.
Send Relief is working with local partners to respond in multiple locations across southern Pakistan. These partners are leading emergency food distributions, providing temporary shelter and distributing medicine and hygiene items to more than 6,000 people.
“The people of Pakistan are in shock from the devastation caused by this catastrophe. Many remember the terrible flood of 2010 that covered one-fourth of the country. This year, over one-third of Pakistan is inundated,” Tim Patterson, the Send Relief Area Director for Central and South Asia, said. “We don’t know the full extent of the impact since many roads are inaccessible and bridges washed away.”
The village of a local Send Relief partner was mostly destroyed after a canal burst due to excessive rainfall. The partner is separated by 50 miles from his mother and brother, who are now displaced. He is diligently working to take supplies not just to his village but to others in desperate need. He brings supplies and a message of hope amidst an unprecedented crisis.
“The flood is extremely personal for him. Still, he is holding onto and holding out for the true hope. He is now gaining access to new villages he had never been to before,” another Send Relief partner said.
Send Relief anticipates many opportunities to help in relief and recovery efforts in the coming months.
“We expect the recovery will take several months and rebuilding will take years. We are thankful for Southern Baptists support and generosity,” Patterson said. “Please pray for our dear Pakistani brothers and sisters who are in the midst of their own suffering, and yet, they are responding with compassion and helping their neighbors.”
The IMB is encouraging Southern Baptists to pray for those who lost loved ones as well as their livelihoods and for the local churches and volunteers who are already responding to meet the needs in devastated areas.
Resources donated to Send Relief’s international crisis response fund will also be used to help those affected by the flooding in Pakistan as well as in crises around the world.