'They are suffering': Chicago area relief efforts help Pakistan flooding victims

Monday, September 5, 2022
Chicago area relief efforts help Pakistan flooding victims
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Chicago area relief efforts are helping victims of flooding in Pakistan.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dr. Abdul Ghauri has been helping lead the relief efforts in the Chicago area for the tens of millions of people affected by the flooding in Pakistan.

"This is a natural disaster. This was not in control of anyone," he said.

More than one-third of the country is underwater, including Ghauri's hometown. It's all due to record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan's northern mountains.

"Most of my district is underwater. I know many of the people, how they are suffering," Ghauri said.

SEE ALSO | Pakistan floods kill over 1,000 and leaves millions displaced

On Monday afternoon, volunteers at Helping Hand for Relief and Development sorted donations of clothing, household items and other supplies in boxes at their Elmhurst warehouse. Most of the boxes will be sent off to Pakistan this week.

The nonprofit, headquartered in suburban Detroit, has been on the ground in Pakistan from the beginning.

"We need lots of funds to send over there," Ghauri said.

The death toll is over 1,200 people. The World Health Organization is worried about the spread of infectious diseases.

"Our teams are seeing a lot of skin diseases, lot of diarrhea, gastrointestinal tract infections.They're facing huge problems," Ghauri said.

People in the Chicago area with loved ones in Pakistan have been trying to check in with them as much as possible to see how they can help.

"They are so busy trying to find or provide for their family or fend for their lives, that reaching out to loved ones is unfortunately not on their minds. It is very difficult to communicate," said Suha Moten, whose loved ones have been impacted.

Moten said even after the flooding subsides, the crisis will be far from over.

More than 1 million homes have been damaged. Some people won't have homes to return to.

"It is very important for us as society to every time we take a step out of our homes, think about these people who no longer have the privilege to do so." she said.

Ghauri said it will take a lot of support to help the people impacted rebuild their lives.

For more information about Helping Hand for Relief and Development's Pakistan relief efforts, click here.