Pakistan's Catholics give all they can

18/08/2010

Fr Mario Rodrigues
Catholic Mission Director for Pakistan Fr Mario Rodrigues.
Despite making up just one per cent of Pakistan’s population, the Catholic Mission Director for Pakistan Father Mario Rodrigues says Catholics have been giving unreservedly to the cause of disaster relief of their fellow Pakistanis.

Twenty million people are homeless amid the severe flooding that has inundated Pakistan on a scale that has not been seen before, with The United Nations estimating  the destruction will exceed the total of the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Kashmir and Haiti earthquake combined.

Fr Mario said the immediate needs of millions of displaced people are shelter, fresh water and basics like lentils, sugar, rice and milk.

"The long term needs will be the rebuilding of whole communities which have been swept away," Fr Mario said. "Catholic Mission Pakistan has set up their own relief camps as have the various parish churches. We have been collecting for the relief from house to house. The response has been generous: the people are giving bottled water, cash and food, whatever they have.

“So far we have filled five trucks which volunteers are driving to the relief camps for distribution to the needy.

“I feel the greatest assistance in the next few days are the prayers of the people all over the world,” said Fr Mario. He made a personal appeal also for people to give aid to Catholic aid agencies like Catholic Mission. “Whatever you can spare, whatever you can send is a blessing and a help to the people. God’s blessings on you all. Please hold us in your prayers this night and next.”

National Director of Catholic Mission Mr Martin Teulan said aside from the immediate needs of the people, the long term damage will be felt for many years to come.

"As Catholics and Australians, it is part of our identity to help a mate," Mr Teulan said.

"The people of Pakistan are ordinary people faced with a grave humanitarian crisis. Our hearts, our prayers and assistance goes out to them."

To find out how you can help the Catholic Mission relief effort, visit Catholic Mission.


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