Local doctors and experienced news correspondents are shocked by the appalling conditions being endured by some 2,000 Christians in downtown Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. Despite being only ten minutes from health centres, two people have died in the 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) heat, with many more in danger of dying from dehydration, infection or the cumulative effects of poverty.
How did they end up here? Approximately a year ago, around 214 Christian families were promised land in the Chak Shahzad district of Islamabad. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad arranged their move and told the families to set up tents there until possession had been finalised. Then three months ago the CDA changed their minds forcing the Christian families to live in the road amidst squalid conditions, where their only water supply runs all too close to an open pit latrine and a waste dump. There are up to 20 people sharing one tent, which only adds to the discomfort.
Our partners in Pakistan commented, “Since Christians are discriminated against by the majority population, nothing has been done to help them.”
Whilst the Pakistan authorities are still to act, Barnabas has been able to secure a way to provide practical aid to the families now. This aid will take the form of food items including rice, lentils, onions and cooking oil for each affected family, as well as buckets and water containers to reduce the risk of typhoid affecting the tightly packed camp.
For only £34.75 ($56.94 or €40.33) you can feed a whole family for a month. Five water containers each capable of carrying 20 litres, costs only £7.40 ($12.15 or €8.60). Any one of these items could be a lifesaver.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund says, “Here is a real opportunity to save lives. Our brothers and sisters in Islamabad are in dire need of material assistance to prevent disease ravaging their already stricken camp. Please be praying that we can raise the necessary funds quickly to meet this life-threatening need.”
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