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  • » 08/18/2010, 00.00

    VATICAN - PAKISTAN

    Benedict XVI's appeal for flood victims in Pakistan



    The pope asks for solidarity and concrete support for the country prostrated by monsoon rains. About 20 million people have been affected, 1,600 were killed. Risk from hunger and disease.

    Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI has appealed to Christians and the international community to show solidarity and support to victims of floods in Pakistan.

    Speaking at the end of today’s general audience at Castel Gandolfo, in front of 2,000 pilgrims, the pope said his thoughts turned first to the "dear people of Pakistan" hit by " severe flooding" that has caused "numerous victims and left many families homeless”.

    He then added: "As I entrust to the merciful goodness of God all those who are tragically gone, I express my spiritual closeness to their families and all who suffer because of this disaster. Our solidarity and the concrete support of the international community must not be lacking to these our sorely tried brothers and sisters!".

    For over three weeks entire regions of Pakistan have been hit by monsoon rains of exceptional intensity, destroying homes and crops. It is estimated that at least one fifth of the country is under water, more than 20 million people have been affected and at least 1,600 are dead.

    The commitment of the government and army, as well as international organizations has been hampered by damage to infrastructure: roads and bridges were washed away or are blocked by landslides. According to some NGOs at least 6 million people need emergency aid, while hundreds of thousands have not received anything yet, because of communication difficulties.

    People have lost everything in the disaster - crops, seeds, agricultural machinery, houses - there is the risk of hunger and epidemics.

    Last week the UN made an appeal for 459 million dollars for emergency aid. So far 40% of the funds has been collected.

    Even Caritas Italy has opened a subscription for emergency aid.
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    See also

    19/08/2010 PAKISTAN
    Aid slow to arrive in Pakistan
    The UN fears a "second wave of deaths" due to diseases: typhoid, hepatitis, cholera and malaria. Lack of food and water. Only one million displaced persons – out of 8 - has so far received aid. The international community not overly generous. It will take years to rebuild the country. Agriculture - 20% of GDP – has been obliterated. Food prices soar and there are signs of rebellion, all in favour of the opposition Islamic parties.

    10/12/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: "Urgent pacific solutions" for Middle East and Lebanon
    Benedict XVI urged politicians of the country of the cedars to concern themselves solely with the good of Lebanon. This morning, he celebrated his first dedication of a new Church, an event that takes on a particular symbolic meaning in the time of Advent.

    03/11/2011 THAILAND
    20% of Bangkok flooded. Number of victims up to 437
    Evacuation continues, but many residents refuse to leave their homes at the risk of getting electrocuted. Food and drinking water becoming scarce. Protests of those who have lost their homes to save the city center. The solidarity of Japan in crisis: money and a song.

    05/09/2014 PAKISTAN
    40 dead and dozens wounded as heavy Pakistani monsoons set to continue
    The weather experts warn of a possible worsening of rainfall: high risk of flooding. Main rivers of the country under surveillance, for fear of flooding. Victims include women and children. Government criticized for lack of prevention.

    16/08/2010 PAKISTAN - UN
    Ban Ki-moon’s "heart-wrenching" visit to the flood victims of Pakistan
    At least 20 million people are affected 1600 have died, but many areas have not yet been reached. The disaster will have affects on people for at least two years. The IMF warns that there will be long-term consequences for the Pakistani economy.



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