Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is providing emergency help to victims of the floods in Pakistan.
The interim relief package will be sent to religious Sisters coordinating aid programs in the northern town of Nowshera, one of the worst-affected areas.
Initial reports received by ACN describe how many people in the region between Rawalpindi and Peshawar died after whole villages were swept away by the floods which struck last weekend.
The first grant of $19,900 from ACN, agreed on Friday, August 6th, will provide food, bedding and clothing for flood victims receiving help from the Missionaries of St. Thomas the Apostle (MST).
In a message to ACN, Father Tom Rafferty, parish priest of Holy Name Parish, Nowshera, described an urgent need for medical supplies to curb an out-break of malaria, dysentery, scabies and other skin rashes, typhoid, cholera and other potential health epidemics.
Fr. Rafferty, a Mill Hill Missionary, wrote: “The appeals coming from Nowshera are becoming more desperate by the day.”
“ACN’s offer of help gives the hope of getting help as soon as possible.”
He also wrote: “These floods have been the cause of great loss of life; whole villages have been swept away and there has been massive damage to property and infrastructure.”
He described the near miraculous survival of the 1,500 Christians living in the Nowshera area.
He wrote: “We and our people [who] have escaped with our lives thank God, but this is due to the fact that all could be evacuated from their homes to our existing Catholic and Protestant schools both in Nowshera and Risalpur.”
Described as the worst monsoon rains in 80 years, reports state that at least 1,600 people died in floods.
An estimated 4.5 million people have been affected by the floods so far.
Pakistani authorities are understood to have evacuated 11 districts in the Sindh province in the south-east of the country amid mounting concerns about widespread floods as the rains push south.
ACN’s projects’ department is monitoring the floods situation closely and hopes to send further emergency help shortly.