CRWRC helps displaced Pakistanis

By May 21, 2009

Pakistan (MNN) — With Pakistan's military crack down on Taliban, around 1.7 million residents have been displaced from their homes in the Swat Valley since last year.

These residents are now living in one of 22 internally displaced person (IDP) camps in the Swabi province of Pakistan.

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee currently can help only 2,000 families because of financial limitations. Their budget right now is $1.5 million, but they still do not have all of this money raised.

The Pakistan government believes $500 million will be needed to care for all of the people displaced.

CRWRC is helping the people with non-food items, such as mattresses, water coolers and mosquito nets while they are in the IDP camps.

They also want to establish programs to help people cope. “We’re talking about future programs—some rehabilitation, of course counseling for the women and children…but then education. They’re going to be out of their normal schooling,” Grace Wiebe, CRWRC disaster response program manager, said.

Though Wiebe and CRWRC hope this conflict will only be temporary, she said, “We’re not expecting it to be short-term, actually, because the government has committed to the Army that it can work there until all of the Taliban is eradicated. And that is a monumental task.”

Thus, Wiebe said the displaced people will probably be moved to another location before returning home. While in the camp, CRWRC hopes to provide them with livestock and housing as part of their rehabilitation program.

While Wiebe said CRWRCs witness must be subtle in the area because of a large Muslim presence, they are still able to speak about God.

In other areas of the Muslim world in which CRWRC has been involved, Wiebe remembers being asked, “Where are our Muslim brothers?” The Muslims wondered why Christians were providing help rather than their fellow-Muslims.

Pray for the eyes of these people to be opened to who God is. Also consider helping the ministry of CRWRC by donating to their relief fund. Click here to donate and obtain more information.

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