Pakistan Flood Update from Women's Division Partners
Faith and funding partners of United Methodist Women in Pakistan report that recent flooding in Pakistan has hit the poorest of the poor and has further deepened poverty among those living at the lowest economic level. Homes, crops, soil and personal belongings have been lost and have caused the collapse of minimal survival for many families.
The women's organization of the Church of Pakistan, Lahore District, indicates that women and children are among the worst hit by the devastation. Ayra Inderyas, women's coordinator for the Lahore district, shares that the church has been able to provide food and filtered water to some areas of the Punjab and Sindh Provinces. Their aim now is to create a "kit" with feminine and other hygiene items for distribution to women. Also planned are small grants for appropriate technology to the poor rural families who have lost everything. Agricultural implements and livelihood tools such as sewing machines can enable flood survivors to begin generating incomes.
Ms. Inderyas sends a message to United Methodist Women: "We in Pakistan are in dire need of prayers amid flash floods and prevailing insecurity. I believe that through prayer the United Methodist Women in any part of the world can stand in solidarity and extend support with the less fortunate and poor women facing survival challenges today."
Another partner of United Methodist Women in Pakistan is Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA). PODA's mission is to facilitate the empowerment of marginalized rural communities, especially women, through livelihoods skills, democracy education and human rights advocacy to build an egalitarian and peaceful society. Their vision is a democratic society based on gender equality and social justice.
PODA offices in District Chakwal, Rawalpindi, Jehlum and Multan in the Punjab Province, Buner in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Province, Sukkur in Sindh Province and the national office in the federal capital Islamabad are working for flood relief activities round the clock.
Urgently needed items include the following:
- Milk for small children
- Nonperishable food items (high energy biscuits, peanuts, almonds, raisins, dates)
- Drinking water bottles and water purification tablets
- Rice, lentil (daal), chickpeas (channa), salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon, and cooking oil
- Gas stoves, kerosene stoves, dish and hand soaps, disinfecting soap, kerosene oil, cooking utensils, candles, matches, and torchlights
- Medicines for diarrhea, malaria, dysentery, and cholera as well as bandages, masks, gloves and antiseptics
- Shoes, socks, plastic slippers, plastic sheets, blankets, and mosquitoes nets
- Clothes for children, women and men
- Travel assistance to displaced families
- Water floating tubes, swimming aid items, water floating mats, school bags, and toys
In addition, the October issue of response magazine will include further information on how United Methodist Women-supported partners in Pakistan are responding to the worst floods Pakistan has experienced in 80 years by organizing volunteers to help with relief work and distributing food, supplies and services. Your unit can help by preparing a special Mission Giving offering for flood relief and recovery work in Pakistan.
Carol Van Gorp is an executive secretary for International Ministries of the Women's Division.