While flooding continues to wreak havoc in Pakistan, the world has been slow to understand how vast the needs emerging from this crisis are, much less respond.
While the international community has so far committed close to US$229.5 million in support and another US$142 million in additional pledges, those pledge amounts alone are insufficient to cover even the initial three-month relief needs outlined by the United Nations, says Donna Derr, Director of Humanitarian Assistance for Church World Service.
“Thankfully the flood’s death toll has remained relatively low, but disasters can’t be measured by just the number of dead,” says Derr. “Effective humanitarian response must be measured against the number of people affected, just struggling to survive.”
The initial UN plan calls for US$460 million. The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum, which Week of Compassion supports through our partnership with CWS, calls on government and private sources to dramatically increase funding in order to save lives.
Pakistan’s already weak social services may crumble without adequate and immediate help now. Millions of Pakistanis risk sinking deeper into chronic poverty for the next generation, compromising human rights and basic needs.
Week of Compassion partners are on the ground in Pakistan, providing food, shelter, and health care to affected areas. There is still much to be done. The severity of the flooding in Pakistan cannot be underscored enough: This is as big a humanitarian crisis as the 2004 Tsunami—if not bigger. If you would like to help, please continue to keep the people of Pakistan in your prayers and consider contributing to the response.
Flash Flooding in Iowa and Tennessee
Closer to home, communities across Iowa and Tennessee have been affected by flash flooding. Through Week of Compassion, you have helped us to respond to the needs of families in Disciples congregations in Des Moines, Ames, and Colfax, Iowa. We are continuing to monitor the situation in Middle Tennessee, and will respond as we hear of needs.
We are grateful, as always, for your willingness to help out people whose names you will likely never know. Your partnership with our churches in the Midwest and villages in remote areas of Pakistan proves what it means to reach out with Courageous Compassion.
Thanks be to God!
This Week's Responses
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Iowa (4), flood relief
India, flood relief