08 Sep Floods in Pakistan: The Catastrophe and the presence of the Friars Minor
The situation in Pakistan is becoming more difficult by the hour. The recent monsoon rains have affected more than 33 million people, causing immense destruction with more than 1,200 casualties. A third of Pakistan is flooded, and the rains submerge as much as 25,000 square kilometres of land. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1,460 health facilities were affected. The areas that suffered the most damage are Sindh and Baluchistan.
As Friars Minor, we are present in Pakistan in two Provinces, in the regions of Sindh and Punjab. In Punjab, the friars are distributed in two communities, a formation house and St. Mary Parish in Jamke Chima. At the same time, in Sindh, they operate six parishes (Khipro Parish, Padrijo Goth Parish, St. Elizabeth Parish, Kotri Paish, Haji Camp Parish, Kemari Parish), two formation houses (Franciscan Friary and Darhkshan Novitiate house), and two communities (Franciscan Friary and Darhkshan Novitiate house).
“The friars are very close to the people in this difficult time of life, taking care of their needs, from food to necessary care, listening and assistance. We, friars, are well aware that at this stage, people need us”; these are the words of Br Moghal Peter OFM, Custos of Pakistan, and he continues, “I am aware that all our friars are also experiencing the same difficulties. Still, we are doing our best to provide food, medicine and shelter. Our brothers and sisters in difficulty remind us that we are all one family, the family of God. For this, I ask for help and prayers”.
The General Curia of the Friars Minor in Rome immediately started a committee to coordinate and support the friars’ work in the Asian country. “We have witnessed what is happening in Pakistan through the media, with floods and millions evacuated and thousands dead. Thanks to our friars, we have learned about the situation of families, children and many of our friars who have seen their homes swallowed up by the floods. As friars minor, following the example of Francis of Assisi with the lepers and the poor of his time, we wish to strongly reiterate our support and assistance to every individual living in this condition of absolute need. We intend to operate and support as much as possible in Pakistan on the side of the poorest and weakest. Blessed are all the forms of help and support that every benefactor, today, wishes to give to our friars in Pakistan to alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters,” these are the words of Friar Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor.
Below is the link to support fundraising and aid through the OFM Fraternitas Foundation of the General Curia: