Pakistan quake refugees still in urgent need with the onslaught of winter.

By November 4, 2005

Pakistan (MNN)–Pakistan’s quake toll has climbed over 70-thousand, and there are dire warnings of more deaths to come.

World Vision’s John Shenck says the humanitarian situation isn’t necessarily worse than originally thought. But, the body count is distracting from the real problem of being caught unprepared. “In a way it just feels like the world wasn’t listening,” he says.

Since the quake hit, WVI’s message has been that “This earthquake was not a disaster with a specific moment in time. Really, what it’s done is shaken up 25-thousand square kilometers and the lives of more than three million people and destroyed most of the housing in the region with the winter coming.”

Aside from the immediate shelter needs, the agency has helped create feeding stations and sanitation. They are also making 20 “Child Friendly Spaces.”

These areas help keep children safely occupied and away from hazards, in addition to communicating important hygiene and safety messages to children and their families in the affecting areas.

As teams reach out to meet the needs of the survivors, another phenomenon occurs. Shenck says because the region is religious, it serves as an open door for action in Christ’s Name.

In Pakistan, the people aren’t afraid to talk about their beliefs. That’s especially true as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.

It’s God’s timing. “We are specially positioned to work in Pakistan because we are a Christian organization. This is a predominantly Muslim country,” Shenck says, adding, “they have great respect for Christians. We speak freely of being Christians, of loving God.”

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