“The government has promised compensation and new housing for those who have lost their homes, but we do not know if, when, and how much aid will come,” he says
Caritas Pakistan is distributing food parcels, drinking water, tents, and plastic sheets to affected families. Caritas staff and volunteers are also providing first aid to the injured and facilitating search, rescue, and evacuation operations.
“The immediate aid provided by Caritas has relieved the suffering of the population and made the affected people feel that they are not alone and abandoned,” says Cardinal Coutts, “and we thank God for the excellent training provided by Caritas to staff and volunteers who have responded promptly to this and other disasters. The next and most important step, especially after the government will have demolished the houses, will be to give these people a new and dignified home. But it is a tremendous effort and we will need help.
The floods came at an already dramatic time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the serious consequences of the containment measures. “For the poor, it is a double tragedy because many of them had lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and now they have lost or will lose their homes too,” says the cardinal.
Cardinal Coutts also points out that the floods are yet another natural disaster in Pakistan in recent years. The country is among the most affected in the world by the consequences of climate change and, in this year of the anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Sì, the cardinal invites us to reflect on the need to safeguard the environment. “These floods are the symptom and effect of the lack of care for our Common Home. And it is above all the poor and the most vulnerable who suffer because of it.”
Mr. Amjad Gulzar, Executive Director of Caritas Pakistan shared that “many areas of the country are badly affected, Disaster Management Committees (DMCs) and volunteers have been very active. But this year heavy rains were more than the coping capacities of everyone. Caritas Pakistan is trying to help affected communities through limited resources.”
Anyone who wishes to support the work of Caritas in Pakistan can do it by donating here: www.caritas.org/donation/appeal-for-pakistan-floods/