By Linda C. Hoops
As monsoon rains in Pakistan continue to cause widespread flooding that so far has killed 1,600 and affected nearly 14 million Pakistanis, LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC) is responding through its inter-Lutheran partner Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Baltimore.
“This is the most effective and efficient way that aid and assistance can be brought to the people of Pakistan,” said Rev. Glenn Merritt, WR-HC director of disaster response. “Lutheran World Relief is actively engaged in meeting the needs in Pakistan through ACT Alliance.” ACT Alliance is a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian response and advocacy.
The floods hit as the country struggles to recover from five years of successive disasters, including two devastating earthquakes, massive flooding and displacement caused by conflict between the Pakistani military and militants. Droughts and water shortages have also plagued the region, crippling its agricultural system and food supply. With more than 700,000 people left homeless because their homes were destroyed, food and shelter are the most urgent needs.
According to an LWR press release, ACT is working to distribute emergency relief, including shelter items and food packages. So far, it has reached 155,200 people in the affected provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and is working to reach more people. LWR is also partnering with International Relief and Development to send 3,300 quilts, 13,000 health kits and 1,500 layettes to families displaced by the floods.
With new flood warnings issued Aug. 11 for the provinces of Punjab and Sindh and the number of displaced people in need of assistance expected to increase, Merritt told Reporter that he is requesting an LCMS WR-HC grant for LWR and Orphan Grain Train’s assistance in collecting supplies.
He added that LCMS members and WR-HC staff “continue to hold the people of Pakistan in our prayers at this time. The tragic deaths and devastation caused by the flooding in Pakistan call for the entire church of Christ to respond with compassion and care. The members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod are dedicated to bringing mercy to the hungry and homeless in Pakistan.”
To make a gift that shares Christ’s mercy and helps those affected by the flooding in Pakistan, visit www.lcms.org/?17493, call 888-930-4438, or mail donations earmarked for “Pakistan Flood Relief Fund” to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
Linda C. Hoops is a freelance writer and a member of Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Sunset Hills, Mo.
Posted Aug. 12, 2010