Originally published by Islamic Relief
Rain continues to fall and flooding is expected to worsen, as officials now estimate that more than 14 million people have been affected by severe flooding and landslides in northwest Pakistan.
A senior United Nations official said the scale of Pakistan’s floods is worse than the 2004 tsunami in Asia and this year’s earthquake in Haiti.
Islamic Relief workers are helping in the evacuation effort, administering aid, and helping serve thousands of flood victims, but the need is still immense.
Shortages of food, water, clothing, shelter, and supplies are making it difficult for the victims. Waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera have contaminated nearly all the water wells and the deadly diseases are beginning to infect the most vulnerable of the people. Children are especially at risk.
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After devastating Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, floodwaters are now affecting areas of Punjab and Sindh.
Two million people are now homeless and more than 1,600 lives have been lost.
Flashfloods and landslides washed away entire villages and uprooted thousands of acres of farmland.
Due to the sheer magnitude of the rains, which caught most victims off-guard, many have lost their livelihoods and have no idea how they will survive after the disaster.
Islamic Relief USA’s Vice President of Programs, Adnan Ansari, is part of the IR team in Pakistan helping with aid efforts and assessing the needs of the people. He reported, “Outside the camps, many people were staying put in their villages, despite their homes being destroyed and the roads being cut off. ‘This is all we have left,’ one of the victims who stayed home (which had no walls left) told me. ‘I can’t risk leaving my belongings unattended.'”
“People’s dreams were hit hard by the floods. But their ability to overcome the hardship is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Still I wonder how long they can hold up.”
More information @ Islamic Relief USA.
What else can we do?
- Du`a’. Pray for them.
- Donate food and clothing. There are organizations that are working to ship in-kind donations to Pakistan.
- Spread Awareness. This can be as simple as changing your Facebook status.
- Fundraise. If you’re on campus, have a bake sale or pass around a coin jar in your classes. Have a fast-a-thon to raise funds.
- Brainstorm. What else can we do? Share your ideas in the comments.