Report from Pakistan's Flood Zone

13 August 2010

The forecast is for more rain. Water levels will rise and cause more flooding. Our entire nation is in shock and disbelief at the devastation these floods have brought to millions and millions of people.

Monsoon rains started about two weeks ago and have caused major floods all around the country, as reported by the BBC in an article titled "Pakistan Under Water." According to a recent UN report 1,600 people have died and 14 million people are directly affected by floods. These are the worst floods in the living memory of Pakistan. The United Nations stated that $459 million is needed in emergency aid for people who have been affected. The situation is getting worse day by day.

Our TV channels are full of horrific stories showing villages and cities that have been destroyed, people caught in flood water struggling to survive, and people starving to death. Some goods are being distributed among them, mostly by helicopters because many roads have been destroyed and bridges have collapsed. 

It is very unfortunate that our country is faced with so many crises one after another. The worst earthquake in our history took place a couple of years ago, followed by the Swat Valley humanitarian crises which resulted in over 3 million internally displaced people. There have been on-going killings from terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and now floods.

Some of our cooperation circles in Kashmir, Rawalpindi/ Islamabad, Lahore, Jatoi, and the Multan areas are helping our people. Some URI families in Pakistan have also suffered damage from the floods and others had to vacate their homes and run for their lives.

I know that you, members of the URI community, have always been with us in these difficult times.

Please offer your prayers and meditations so that we can face these times, and so that the families who are affected may get some comfort and relief. Thanks!

With regards,

Father James Channan OP

URI Regional Coordinator Pakistan

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