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World News

Church leaders speak of 'desperate' need in Pakistan as floods ravage the country

by Alex Collett

Pakistan Church leaders have said the government is doing very little in response to the flooding crisis and have renewed their urgent appeals to help the millions affected by the catastrophe. 

Over a third of the country is completely submerged with millions of people displaced and homelessness while diseases are also spreading.

Dr Masqood Kamil, a member of Christian charity Pak Mission Society, was some of the first responders in the disaster area. He told the situation in Pakistan is critical: "This is worst in the entire history of our nation, a monsoon is nothing new in Pakistan, it is every year's phenomena, we have had floods every year, but this is the worst ever we have had now."

"People have lost everything, the emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical loss, you can't calculate it in the monetary sense. 

"There are no schools left, no clinics left, people are just sitting on the roadside without any food, water or shelter or clothing and on top of that, because of this terrible floods, people are suffering very badly because of the diseases now they're spreading fast.

"The diseases caused by mosquitoes, dengue, malaria, diarrhoea, gastro, such diseases are spreading very, very quickly. 

"There are lots of cases of snake bites. So it's a just appalling situation. Terrible situation."

Dr Kamil said Pak Mission Society has been sending teams to the frontline. 

"They have been at the most difficult areas already providing food shelters like not tents, mosquito nets, medicines, which are required. 

"People will need psychologists to help them and medications will be needed. 

"Food and shelter is one of the most important ones. 

"But we will be moving towards rehabilitation because one of the most difficult area is when water recedes, people have no housing, have no jobs, children and women are most vulnerable,

"I was almost crying for one of my pastor friends, when I talked to him, his church and his house had been completely submerged, drowned in the water, they have lost everything."

Local bishops have also gone on to thank charities including Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) which earlier this month rushed through a package of food, medicine and shelter for more than 5,000 families. 

Bishop Samson Shukardin in worst-affected Sindh Province described ACN's response as "remarkable". 

Speaking at an ACN-organised video conference the bishop from Hyderabad diocese spoke out against the government's apparent long-term failure to address the floods crisis, saying climate change was having a huge impact. 

He said: "Many of the places are flooded but the government has no plan

"They are not doing anything to protect our people, especially in the remote areas. 

"The remote areas are not being protected, only the big cities, allowing water to reach the poor areas and the poor people who do not have the resources."  

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