Race against time in Pakistan

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MCC gathering school kits, funds

by Gladys Terichow for Mennonite Central Committee. 

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. 

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. 

“It is a race against time,” said Willie Reimer, coordinator of director of MCC’s Food, Disaster and Material Resources program. “The floods are causing huge destruction and life-threatening consequences.” 

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. 

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