Condolence letter to the Pakistani president following the 2010 monsoon floods
As the people of Pakistan struggle to come to terms with the trauma and devastation wrought by the recent floods I wish to express our solidarity with you and all those who have suffered loss of life and livelihoods. Although human words often fail to comfort and console grief on such a large scale I wish to assure you that the World Council of Churches (WCC), and all those within its fellowship of churches all around the world, are praying for you and all those seeking to provide for those in need.
Although Pakistan has experienced monsoons in the past the extent of damage wrought by the recent floods, the worst in the history of the nation, has been daunting. I appreciate the extent and speed with which the government has responded to the disaster, providing boats and military machinery to rescue stranded people and distribute much needed assistance throughout the affected regions. I am also grateful that other nations and the UN have also come forward to offer various forms of emergency aid and humanitarian relief.
In times of such crisis and grief one needs more than physical food and nourishment, and the churches, as neighbours in the communities, are there to provide comfort and counsel, hospitality and hope, strength and solidarity. The WCC is encouraging its member churches to pray for the people of Pakistan so their mourning may be turned into gladness, that God will “give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31:13)
Already the Diocese of Peshawar of the Church of Pakistan has launched its emergency Relief and Rescue Programme. Be assured that the member churches of the WCC and its humanitarian partners such as ACT Alliance are ready to assist and stand by you in bringing emergency and relief assistance for the people of Pakistan.
I pray that God’s good grace and wisdom will empower and strengthen you as you continue to lead the people of Pakistan through these difficult times.
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
World Council of Churches general secretary