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Lutheran Disaster Response

Pakistan: Video of CWS Response

The following video shows the affects of the July-August 2011 flooding in the Sindh province of Pakistan and Church World Service’s (CWS-PA) response. The ELCA, through its Disaster Response program, helped fund this response. It’s a good video describing how this work changes lives and how relief transitions into development.


Pakistan: Heavy Monsoon Rains Lead to Wide-Spread Flooding

Click to download map (pdf).

Heavy monsoon rains in late August/early September led to widespread damage, mostly in the southern province of Sindh. The National Disaster Management Authority in Pakistan has appealed for international humanitarian assistance. The most urgent needs have been food, potable water, shelter, and health care because of the great risk to waterborne diseases, malnutrition, and food insecurity.

In the Sindh province, it is estimated 5 million people have been affected, some of whom are still recovering from the floods in July 2010. Twenty-two of its 23 districts receiving heavy rain and flooding. Approximately, 700,000 homes have been damaged and more than 1.7 million acres of crops are affected. According to the UN Offices for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) some regions of the province still have not been reached.

The ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) has issued an appeal and is coordinating a response, through members like Church World Service (CWS). As heavy rains have continued to affect here and many places in the world, please keep those affected by the rising waters in thought and prayer. May the God who stills the raging waters continue to be with them.

For more information, please check out the CWS Website and Flooding Update (31 Oct).

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.

Pakistan: New UN Report “One Year On”

It has been almost one year to the day since what has been described by UN General Secretary as a “slow-motion tsunami” struck Pakistan. With heavy monsoon rains in mid-July 2010, bodies of water throughout the country began to overflow their banks leading to flooding that started in the north and wound its way southward causing a domino effect of floods lasting from July to September. In total an estimated 18 million people were affected by flooding, with 14 million needing humanitarian assistance.

As the work to help the Pakistani people rebuild their lives continues, this is a great resource to take stock of how things have progressed. I really appreciated the map explaining the progression of the flood as well as the timeline. Also of note are the amazing pictures that do more to tell the story than words sometimes can. Interspersed throughout you will find informative reports and heart-wrenching and -warming stories of those affected by the flooding and those who have dedicated themselves to the relief effort.

I recommend taking some time and giving the report, “Pakistan – One Year On“, a read.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.

Pakistan Floods: Six Months Later

It was six months ago, at the end of July 2010, that the worst floods Pakistan has ever seen ravaged the country, leaving nearly 2,000 dead; 3,000 injured and millions without homes. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that over 20 million Pakistanis, around 10% of the population, have been affected. They report that there are still 170,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps, which does not even take into account the vast numbers of those who have returned to find their homes still under water and uninhabitable.

So the need is not over and we are reminded again that even after disasters leave the headlines they do not leave the lives of those affected. Thank God for those who continue to work after the cameras and reporters are gone. Thank God for those who plan with the foresight needed to meet the continuing needs of people after disasters strike. Please pray that God will continue to sustain both those whose lives have been affected by this flooding and those working on their behalf.

For more information read OCHA’s Humanitarian Community in Pakistan is Faced with New Challenges – Six Months into the Floods.

Earthquake in Pakistan

A 7.2 earthquake has hit a remote area of southwestern Pakistan. Today’s quake was centered in Baluchistan, Pakistan’s most sparsely populated area, according to the US Geological Service. The quake’s epicenter was centered in a remote area about 200 miles, or 320 kilometers, southwest of the Baluchistan capital of Quetta, the Associated Press reported. The quake was felt in several neighboring provinces and in major cities, including Karachi.  Police from Karachi report no damage or loss of life as of now.

The ELCA’s partner, CWS in Pakistan, has a long record of responding after earthquakes, including the 7.5-magnitude quake that hit Pakistan in 2005.  CWS will conduct assessments and prepare a response if needed.

Pakistan: Images of Flooding in Swat

These photos were taken in one of the worst-affected areas of Swat where ACT member CWS is working. The journey is possible by vehicle in only some locations while for other segments it is necessary to travel by foot. Click to view images of key areas where ACT members are working.