Two suicide bombers struck a historic church in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday, killing 81 people attending Mass. It was one of the deadliest attacks on Christians in Pakistan’s history.
The bomb blasts left a scene of devastation. Around 600 people were inside the church at the time. Police say 12 kg of explosives were used in the attacks, carried out while worshippers were leaving Mass. 145 people were wounded in the attack. Among the dead and injured were women and children.
It is the latest in a series of attacks on Pakistani Christians, who represent about 1.6 percent of the country’s largely Muslim population. They tend to keep a low profile, and while attacks on Christian areas occur sporadically, Sunday’s bombings were among the deadliest in recent history.
The tragedy has sparked nationwide protests.
More than 500 gathered today in front of the Punjab Assembly, where they raised slogans against […]
Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan have destroyed thousands of homes, roads, bridges and farms for the third year in a row. The 2010 floods were the worst in recent history, with a fifth of the country underwater. The 2011 and 2012 floods also caused damage across vast areas. Caritas Pakistan Executive Director Amjad Gulzar says that the current situation is already worse than the last two years. With more heavy rain expected over the coming weeks, the situation may get much worse. Caritas staff members are on the ground working with people in need. Read an interview with Amjad Gulzar followed by a radio interview with Andrew Schaefer, the Country Representative for CRS Pakistan. What has been the impact of the floods? The whole country experienced a second spell of the monsoon from 31 July to 4 August. The heavy showers triggered flash floods in different parts and caused widespread loss […]
By Amjad Gulzar, Executive Director Caritas Pakistan
A strong earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Pakistan at 15.44 hours (10.44 GMT ) today. The tremors were felt in Islamabad, Lahore, Abbottabad, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Kohat, Hangu, Bannu, Dir and many other areas across Pakistan.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department the latitude of earthquake was 26.65 North and longitude was 61.60 East with its epicenter in Southern Iran near the Pakistan Iran Boarder.
The tremors spreading panic among the people who came out of their houses for safety. The epicenter is said to be in Iran The worst affected areas in Pakistan is Mashki some 580 Km from Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan in the south west of Pakistan. Travel time from Quetta to Mashaki is around 15-16 hours by road.
Till about an hour back 21 deaths had been reported and over 100 injured in the city of about 30000-35000 population. There […]
Caritas has launched a three-month emergency programme to help families following severe flooding in Pakistan. The programme will cost US$1.4 million (€1.1 million).
Heavy rains in August and September hit the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and have left hundreds of dead and tens of thousands of people homeless.
Caritas in Pakistan will provide tents, blankets, food and medical assistance for the next three months to many people who are in difficulty.
“People are facing many challenges following the floods,” says Amjad Gulzar, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan. “Stagnant and contaminated water, lack of food and hygiene facilities all present serious risks to those living in temporary conditions and make people vulnerable to gastroenteritis, malaria and skin problems as well as other illnesses.”
Six thousand families will be given tents by Caritas Pakistan until they can find more permanent accommodation. Nine thousand five hundred families will receive food and hygiene kits.
People can […]
Caritas teams continue to fan out over the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to help families suffering because of massive flash flooding. Close to 1000 people are confirmed dead, and whole sections of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City were washed away. Tens of thousands of people are living in evacuation centres like university gyms.
Caritas Philippines, known within the country as NASSA, sent a team to the Diocese of Iligan. Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Caritas member from the USA, has a team on the ground in Cagayan de Oro. A team from CAFOD (Caritas UK) was one of the first to reach certain washed-away coastal areas (see photos).
In Cagayan de Oro, one of worst-affected areas, families are without access to clean water. Assessment teams report cramped quarters and poor sleeping conditions in the evacuation centres. Families also lack containers like buckets to store clean water. Some people are […]
Caritas says a poor response by the international community to major floods in Pakistan in 2011 is endangering lives.
The Catholic aid network is urging donors to devote more resources to provide food, shelter and clean water to millions of people in need.
Heavy monsoon rains began to inundate large areas of southern Pakistan in late July 2011. As the months wore on, the floods swamped villages across the province of Sindh. According to the United Nations, more than five million people are affected.
In September, the U.N. called on the international community to donate $357 million US (258 million euros) to the crisis. Despite the scale of the need, the UN appeal has received only 20 percent of the required funding as of mid-October.
A Caritas Internationalis appeal for $4.7 million US (3.4 million euros) for food aid, shelter, and medical help is also underfunded with only 25 percent of the appeal […]
Monsoon rains and typhoons have inundated large areas of Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Thousands of people have fled their homes; others are living on roofs. Caritas teams are distributing aid and helping families recover when their homes are damaged and their crops swept away.
Caritas Philippines (locally called NASSA) is responding to typhoon damage in several dioceses. More than 5000 people are living in evacuation centres. Many more families are staying at home despite 7-foot-high water; they are living on second floors or staying with relatives who have two-storey houses. Caritas is distributing vouchers to 10,000 families for food, soap, detergent, and other necessities.
In Cambodia, where floods have affected over 100,000 families, Caritas teams are on the ground in several provinces. Thousands of families have been evacuated to pagodas, schools and other government buildings. They lack food and health care. Caritas Cambodia is giving families […]
In summer 2011, heavy monsoon rains inundated southern Pakistan, an area already reeling from massive floods in 2010. Here, a survivor tells her story.
My name is Shakeela Mohammad Bakhsh. I live in Badin along with my two brothers and sisters. We are living under the guardianship of our uncle because our father died.
I still remember the night of July 22, 2011. We were all sleeping—it was 3 a.m. Suddenly we heard the noise of flood waves reaching our house. The water level was rising fast, too fast for us to carry some household items. We heard the cries and moans of the people around us calling for help and rescue.
At last, some rescue teams came for us and carried us to a safer place. Here, we were alone, and had nothing to eat or drink with us. Adding woes to worries, my brother fell ill and we did not […]
Caritas is supporting families caught in devastating floods in Pakistan in Sindh and northern Punjab. Heavy monsoon rains in August and September have caused flooding that has affected 5.3 million people
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy on a visit to Pakistan said, “There is an urgent need to help the millions of people affected by these floods. It’s a double tragedy as only last year some of the worst flooding in living memory overwhelmed huge swathes of the country. Again, the poorest and most vulnerable have been affected and they need our support. The 2011 floods underline the need to prepare and protect communities from future flooding. ”
Getting enough resources to people in need is a major challenge due to ongoing heavy rains across southern Sindh.
Shelter is an urgent need with over a million houses either destroyed or damaged. Over 300,000 people are now in relief camps, but most […]
Amjad Gulzar, National Executive Secretary of Caritas Pakistan
The first flood anniversary brings back many memories; both happy and sad. We supported the victims in times of pain and suffering but there were many whom we could not reach in time. Caritas Pakistan, helped generously through its international partners and played vital role of bringing relief and help to thousands who suffered the tragedy.
The disaster last year was the worst in the history of the country. Nearly 20 million people were affected by massive floods and heavy rain during July and August 2010.
We shall continue our efforts in the rehabilitation phase with a focus on reconstruction, livelihood restoration, provision of health services and safe drinking water as well as psychosocial care support.
Caritas Pakistan in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has organised a preparedness course this year. The training involved our Country Disaster Management Team keeping in view the […]
Available in French Eric Dayal, National Coordinator for Disasters at Caritas Pakistan I’ve been to many of the affected areas since the floods and things have changed. People have started moving towards normal life in many respects. Now there are almost no camps and people have gone back to their villages. Many lives have been saved and people are getting food, medical facilities, clean water and shelter. There are still some people living in tents but many are making permanent houses. Caritas Pakistan has been providing roofing and construction materials to help with this.
The fishing communities who survive on the produce of Manchar Lake in Sindh, Pakistan could never have imagined that the source of their livelihoods would one day destroy everything they owned. The lake is the biggest in Pakistan and has sustained generations of their families, with 20,000 people currently dependent on it for their survival.
Yet, last summer, the lake wiped away everything they had worked so hard to build-up. Encouraged by the onrushing rivers and tributaries which feed into it, Manchar Lake rose up and swallowed the villages that surround it.
Thankfully for the people who live there, Trócaire (Caritas Ireland) and the Pakistani Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), a nationwide organisation representing the needs of fishing communities, had piloted an emergency preparedness programme in the communities. Fearing the onset of flooding, the programme equipped the communities with loudspeakers, radios and a colour-coded flag system to warn when water was reaching dangerous […]