Pakistani Christians face aid discrimination: Vatican agency
Christians affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan face "systematic discrimination" in the distribution of aid, the news agency of a Vatican missionary body reported on Thursday.
Vatican City: Christians affected by
the devastating floods in Pakistan face "systematic
discrimination" in the distribution of aid, the news agency of
a Vatican missionary body reported on Thursday.
The Fides news agency, a branch of the Vatican`s
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said aid was
handled either by Muslim relief organisations or by government
officials close to Islamic fundamentalists.
Both discriminated against Christians and other
minorities in distributing aid essential to survival, it said.
About 2,00,000 Christian refugees in the Punjab
province and about 6,00,000 Christians and Hindus in the Sindh
province are affected by the phenomenon, Fides said, citing
NGO sources on the ground.
"The Christian refugees are often ignored. They
are purposely not identified and registered. Thus, they are
automatically excluded from any health care or food, as they
supposedly do not exist," said a local NGO worker cited by
Torrential monsoon rains triggered massive floods
in a fifth of the volatile country, an area roughly the size
The catastrophe has affected more than 17 million
people and left eight million dependent on aid to survive.
The Pakistani government has confirmed that 1,600
people have been killed and 2,366 hurt, but officials warn
that millions are at risk from diseases and food shortages.