As world attention shifts, CWS continues recovery work in Pakistan

The floods that hit Pakistan in recent months seemed poised to be a neglected emergency by the rest of the world. That would be tragic -- because the floods have exacerbated long-standing social problems in one of the world's most fragile countries, say humanitarian workers responding to emergency.

Dr. Syed Farooq Shah with a patient
Dr. Syed Farooq Shah with a patient in Mohandari, a village in northern Pakistan.
Photo: Chris Herlinger/CWS.

See also video Pakistan floods: Inside the CWS response

By Chris Herlinger/CWS

MANSEHRA, Pakistan – The floods that hit Pakistan in recent months seemed poised to be a neglected emergency by the rest of the world.

That would be tragic – because the floods have exacerbated long-standing social problems in one of the world's most fragile countries, say humanitarian workers responding to emergency.

In a recent interview at the CWS offices in Mansehra, Pakistan, CWS health coordinator Dr. Qamar Zaman said that poverty is at the root of many of Pakistan's challenges.

"Poverty is the mother of all evils," Zaman said. "Because people are poor, their health status is going down. They cannot afford medicines. There are people who have never seen a doctor in their life."

That has changed with CWS's mobile health units, which have in some cases provided first-time medical care for those in flood-affected areas in Pakistan. 

As CWS continues its flood relief and recovery work in Pakistan, Dr. Zaman said he wants to thank the international community and our CWS supporters--"our brothers and sisters abroad who have really supported their brothers and sisters in Pakistan" by donating to flood relief efforts. "Their every single dollar is savi ng lives here."

Immediate emergency relief assistance and long-term development have to be part of the same strategy, Zaman said. An example of a CWS program that is mindful of that is the creation of construction trade training centers, similar to those created after the 2005 earthquake in northwest Pakistan.

The CWS centers created in the wake of the floods are providing 900 men from flood-affected families in the districts of Swat, Khairpur and Thatta the opportunity to develop construction trade-related skills. Such skills can help in eventually generating much-needed family income.

CWS's Chris Herlinger shares what he's recently seen in Pakistan via this new photo slideshow.

See also:  Stories of survival in Pakistan: Floodwaters disperse families and Stories of survival in Pakistan: Boundary walls.

How to help

Contributions to support the emergency needs in Pakistan may be made online or by phone (800.297.1516), or may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515, Attention: Pakistan floods. 

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


Share/Save/Bookmark

Browse news release archive

 

All active news articles