Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


photo ©
Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s International Relief Service, is continuing its assistance to Pakistan’s flood victims. The mountain districts of  Swat and Kohistan are often difficult to reach as roads and bridges have been destroyed and relief teams are forced to abandon their vehicles and proceed on foot. The Order of Malta’s medical teams are working with five Pakistani health units. Moreover, two mobile clinics offer daily services to the inhabitants of villages and towns where access to health facilities cannot be assured. Skin diseases, diarrhoea, pneumonia, dehydration and anaemia continue to be widespread. Medical treatment is accompanied by hygiene awareness sessions and the distribution of water purification tablets.
photo © Associated Press
The latest figures given by the Pakistani government report over 17 million victims of the severe floods, covering a vast area stretching from the Chinese border to the mouth of the Indus River. A total of 1.2 million houses have either been damaged or destroyed.

Last weekend, Malteser International organized an assessment in the Punjab. The idea was to provide medical assistance for at least three months with three additional teams carrying out similar tasks to those in northern Pakistan.  Unlike Swat and Kohistan, Punjab is in a lowland area and the waters tend to recede more slowly than in the mountainous regions. In the long term, Malteser International will be involved with disaster risk reduction. In Swat, several health units will be rebuilt and re-equipped and, together with existing centres, prepared to resist any future disasters.

“Medical supplies and equipment are absolutely insufficient so far,” reports Roland Hansen, head of the Asia Department at Malteser International”. To date, Malteser International’s operations in Pakistan are estimated to have cost over three million Euro. “But,” Hansen concludes, “even  the most elementary needs are still far from being met”.

This short video, courtesy of Russia Today, gives some idea of the tragedy of the situation. Nothing can give an idea of the scale.