More than 17 million Pakistanis - about the population of the Netherlands - have been affected by the monsoon floods that began a month ago. In the past few days, at least 1 million people have been displaced in Pakistan's Sindh province, the United Nations said. Contributions from the international community for that relief effort pail in comparison to those given toward Haiti's earthquake relief efforts. One-fifth of Pakistan is under water, but international aid has been slow in coming. The sluggish response has underscored how difficult it is to mobilize international relief for slow-building natural disasters that, unlike tsunamis or earthquakes, don't instantly kill tens of thousands of people. As I have watched the coverage or lack of coverage about Pakistan I wonder is there is both a problem of publicity meaning people just have not seen enough heart rending pictures because it is hard to help people who are instantly killed but are going to be daily killed because of water borne illness and living in tent cities without sanitation in the same space as livestock. The cases of malaria will rise because off all the standing water left behind as the flood waters recede. Is it compassion fatigue, to many disaster at once? Is it the economy being in bad shape? Is it our fear of terrorism and Muslims? Do we fear these people who are so other from us and have been linked with the terrorists we are really afraid of? “Would you deny for others / What you demand for yourself? You speak of signs and wonders / I need something other / I would believe if I was able / But I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table.”
You Can Help Now
1. Pray for the people of Pakistan, their leaders, and all emergency response workers.
2. Please help the people of Pakistan by sending gifts payable to your congregation marked for "Pakistan Flood Relief" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries. OR Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "Pakistan Flood Relief" to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.