Pakistan (MNN) — The monsoon season in Pakistan is only
halfway over, but already nearly 15 million people have been affected by some
of the worst flooding in the country's history — a number that
exceeds those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir
earthquake, and Haiti's recent earthquake, according to the United Nations.
And the devastation in the water's wake is worse than some of
the horrendous natural disasters the country has seen in the past. Peter Howard
of Food for the Hungry said, "This has caused more damage–more
infrastructure damage–than the 2005 earthquake. This is causing the worst
damage that Pakistan has seen in decades."
Howard said although the waters have left few people and items
unscathed, the worst may be yet to come: "People have been losing their
lives, their homes, their properties, their livestock, and schools have been
destroyed. Whole families are being affected."
Doing their best to provide the maximum amount of aid while
also focusing on long-term needs, FH is partnering with Interfaith League
Against Poverty (I-LAP), who is in country: "They have trusted relationships
with people on the ground. They know the culture; they know the needs. And they
are trusted by the communities. Food for the Hungry comes along them,
supports them, and then our partner is there once we leave," Howard said.
Even after floodwaters have receded and FH has left the
country, through their partnership with I-LAP they will be able to continue to
rebuild communities and livelihoods with fields, crops and livestock.
But relief will not be the only thing continuing after they are
gone, as I-LAP and FH share Christ with Pakistanis through their caring actions:
"That's our goal, really: to represent Christ well now, during the
disaster, and then Christ will continue to be represented well by our partners
as they rebuild after the disaster," he said.
This partnership also enables FH to provide aid to areas
they may not have been able to help otherwise because of their ongoing work in
other regions of the world. For instance, they continue their work in Haiti,
but reaching out a helping hand to Pakistan has stretched them thin.
However, Howard said, "I think we always have to realize,
we serve a God of Hope. The devastation is probably beyond words, but yet our
God is also much bigger."
Join the faithful who have already reached out to Pakistan with
prayer and financial support.