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Floods have destroyed homes and livelihoods in Dera Ismail Khan District in Pakistan. (Church World Service photo/Zafar Wazir)

Floods have destroyed homes and livelihoods in Dera Ismail Khan District in Pakistan. (Church World Service photo/Zafar Wazir)

Race against time in Pakistan

Gladys Terichow
August 23, 2010

 

WINNIPEG, Man. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is urging people to respond to the disaster in Pakistan where a fifth of the country is now under water and the number of deaths and homeless continue to climb.
 
MCC welcomes donations and is forwarding funds to trusted and experienced agencies working in Pakistan.
 
“It is a race against time,” said Willie Reimer, director of MCC’s Food, Disaster and Material Resources program. “The floods are causing huge destruction and life-threatening consequences.”
 
In Canada, the federal government has announced that it will match donations made by individuals to registered Canadians charities. Donations to MCC in Canada made between Aug. 2 and Oct. 3 will be matched.
 
As with the Haiti earthquake matching fund, charities notify the Canadian government of the donation amount eligible for the match. The government then contributes an equivalent amount to the government’s Pakistan flood relief fund. International humanitarian and development organizations (including MCC) can then apply to the relief fund for grants and the Canadian government determines which proposals are funded. In any case, the matching funds benefit the victims of the flooding.
 
Although MCC does not have an office or staff in Pakistan, it has a history of relief and development efforts in the country. Most recently, following the 2005 earthquake, MCC supported a large relief and housing reconstruction project implemented by Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan.
 
As in previous disasters in Pakistan, MCC is sharing resources and finances with other trusted, experienced organizations – such as Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan – that are responding to emergency and humanitarian needs there.
 
In partnership with members of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a coalition of 15 church-based agencies in Canada, MCC is supporting projects undertaken by two member agencies, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and Presbyterian World Service and Development, to distribute food kits and purchase tents.
 
MCC is also shipping a container of 2,000 relief kits. These kits contain soap, shampoo, toothpaste, bandages, laundry detergent, bath towels, and personal items.
 
As part of its relief efforts, Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan has rushed emergency food and medical assistance to flood-affected communities. It is currently deploying more than 1,610 tonnes of food aid to more than 68,000 people in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
 
Mobile health teams have already provided care to more than 1,530 people in flood-affected areas with more than 1,900 people assisted in permanent health facilities in the severely affected Swat Valley.
 
“Working in partnerships with other agencies allows us to combine our gifts, contacts and resources as we respond to this serious humanitarian crisis,” said Reimer.
 
The Canadian government is matching donations made by individual Canadians from August 2 to October 3, 2010.  Donations to MCC in Canada will be matched.
How it works:
* The Canadian government creates the Pakistan Floods Relief Fund.
* An individual donates to MCC’s Pakistan flood response.
* MCC informs the federal government of the amount of eligible donations received from Canadian individuals.
* The Canadian government contributes an equivalent amount to its Pakistan Floods Relief Fund.
* International humanitarian and development organizations (including MCC) can apply for grants from the Pakistan Floods Relief Fund. The government determines whether the grant proposal should be funded.
* In any case, the matching funds benefit the victims of the flooding.