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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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August 5, 2010

ELCA gives $100,000 for Pakistan flood relief

Through the ELCA International Disaster Response, ELCA members committed $100,000 to help partners respond to widespread flooding in Pakistan.

Those partners— a U.S.-based ecumenical agency named Church World Service, will provide emergency assistance to some 70,000 people, food assistance to about 35,000 people, emergency shelter supplies for 17,500 people, and mobile health access for 17,500 people, said Megan Bradfield, associate director, International Disaster Response, ELCA Global Mission.

As many as 1,500 people have died in the Pakistan floods — caused by the seasonal monsoon — and at least 1.5 million people were displaced by severe flooding in provinces including Balochistan, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Kyber Paktunkwa and Sindh. The monsoon normally affects Pakistan between June and September. Pakistan's military deployed 30,000 troops, rescuing nearly 21,000 people. Rescue workers are struggling to save more than 27,000 people still trapped by water.

The most pressing humanitarian needs are food and safe drinking water, said a spokesperson for Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority. Survivors face serious challenges given the loss of housing, crops and livestock, Bradfield said. Additionally, more than 100 bridges were destroyed and more than 3,700 houses were swept away, Church World Service reported.

Bradfield said initial efforts by Church World Service include  providing food and shelter kits; conducting assessments in affected areas and identifying beneficiaries; and providing emergency health assistance through a mobile health unit.

Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for ELCA Global Mission, said that thanks to "the ELCA's commitment to strong ecumenical partnerships ... we are pre-positioned to respond with CWS to those affected in Pakistan." The ELCA's efforts with CWS are "an expression of the global ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance," he added.

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