Torrential monsoon rains caused rivers to burst their banks at several places, leading to catastrophic floods across Pakistan.
Torrential monsoon rains which started in late July 2010 caused rivers to burst their banks at several places, leading to catastrophic floods across large sections of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan as well as parts of Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) provinces of Pakistan.
Raging floodwaters washed away homes, bridges, schools, water systems and medical facilities.
As rains continued in August, the flooding intensified, affecting the southern part of Pakistan, specifically Sindh province. There, the Indus River inundated over 700 villages, damaging 91 bridges and cutting off many areas.
Altogether, an estimated 20 million people were affected by the floods and 2,000 people lost their lives. This was the worst flooding disaster in Pakistan in 80 years.
For an on-the-ground assessment of the situation by Caritas Pakistan, click here.
Caritas Pakistan, which has 500 employees spread over several dioceses, immediately sent in teams to the affected areas for assessment of immediate needs.
Caritas Pakistan launched a countrywide response with the relevant dioceses, reaching out to some 250,000 people. Immediate relief was provided through the distribution of temporary shelters (tents), food items and non-food items. In addition, Caritas Pakistan set up health camps where patients were treated for free. Moreover, as the livelihood of most of the victims depended on livestock, Caritas Pakistan set up vaccination camps for the livestock. They also focused on providing people with water, shelter and hygiene facilities.
CHARIS provided an urgent grant of US$50,000 to Caritas Pakistan in August 2010. In addition, CHARIS arranged for the delivery of 816 portable water filtration units, which allowed the victims to convert untreated water to drinking water. For more on water filtration units, click here.
CHARIS also pledged a further US$200,000 to be dispensed for subsequent relief work.
In Singapore, the Archbishop in a letter to parishioners during the weekend of 7–8 August 2010 appealed for prayers and support for the victims of the floods.
Due to the scale and complexity of the devastation, Caritas Internationalis launched another appeal for funds in April 2011 for the early recovery, rehabilitation and restoration of victims and their livelihood. This would provide longer-term and more complex measures to address the multiple problems of the beneficiaries across the country.
CHARIS is working with Caritas Pakistan to identify suitable programmes to support.