Heavy rains strike southern Pakistan

News and Press Release
Originally published
12 July 2005, Vatican City -- Caritas Pakistan has appealed to the Caritas Confederation for assistance in reaching out to flood victims in southern Punjab, Pakistan. Since early July, heavy monsoon rains, coupled with melting snow from the mountains, have caused rivers to burst their banks, leaving tracts of land completely inundated. The floods have affected 100 villages in southern Punjab, killing more than 10 people and displacing around 200,000. It is feared that the numbers will rise as more rains are predicted in the coming months. Tens of thousands of houses have been ruined, crops destroyed, and livestock and food stocks washed away, while the outbreak of disease, particularly malaria, remains a great concern.

Pakistan's government, working closely with the army, has assisted in evacuating thousands of people from the affected areas. However, Caritas Pakistan reports that there are more than 50,000 people still stranded and in urgent need of assistance.

The diocesan unit of Caritas Pakistan, which has been in close contact with the districts' local governments, has visited various flood-ravaged villages and assessed needs. Caritas Pakistan plans to provide 2,000 families from five districts with relief packages (food, kitchen utensils, soap) and 1,500 families with shelter support. Caritas Pakistan will also organise two-day camps in each of the five districts to offer medical care, immunisation, and vaccination services to approximately 500 people per camp.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organisations present in 200 countries and territories.