Empty pockets and stomachs as lockdown hits hard in Pakistan

Covid19ChurchPakistan

‘I don’t know what coronavirus is,’ says Saqlain*, ‘or how long it will last, but I know my pockets are empty and I have a family to feed.’

Before the coronavirus lockdown, Saqlain used to work at a brick kiln in eastern Pakistan. But he hasn’t earned a single rupee in more than two weeks. It means he can’t buy food for his wife and three children.

In Pakistan, many people receive their wages on a daily basis. It’s what they use to provide for their families. Thankfully, Saqlain has been helped by Tearfund and a partner organisation who are providing food parcels for families who are vulnerable. 

‘I would not have been able to provide for my family, so this means a lot,’ Saqlain told us. 

Essential supplies
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, Tearfund’s team in Pakistan has been working closely with our partner organisations. We’re helping them to spread messages about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation, as well as providing food and other essential supplies to people who need them.

So far we’ve distributed six tonnes of flour, 800kg of sugar, one tonne of rice, 894 bars of soap along with other food and hygiene products. We’ve reached nearly 4,000 people since the start of our response.

'I have no words to thank Tearfund enough.'

Roheen

Roheen* is another person who has been helped by the distribution. She’s a widow with three children and also worked at the brick kiln. ‘The kiln was the only source of income for me,’ says Roheen. ‘I have no income to feed my family. I have no words to thank Tearfund enough. May God bless them.’

Fighting fear
In Pakistan there have been more than 42,000 reported cases of coronavirus and 903 deaths. With lockdown bringing the local economy to standstill, many people are fearing both financial disaster and hunger. 

Fikhar*, who lives in southern Pakistan, has four daughters and his wife to provide for. He can’t work either because of lockdown. ‘My wife and I slept with empty stomachs before we received the food package,’ he revealed. ‘I am thankful to the [Tearfund partner] and Tearfund for helping me and my family in tough times.’

Please consider giving to our coronavirus emergency appeal so we can reach more people who are struggling to access even the most basic necessities.

PLEASE PRAY

• Lift up people in Pakistan who are struggling with the coronavirus crisis and the effects of lockdown, particularly those who are now unable to earn an income.
• Thank God that Tearfund and our partners are able to support hungry and fearful families with essential supplies.
• Pray that coronavirus will not spread further in Pakistan and that lockdown can be lifted at the right time.

*all names changed to protect identities.

Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.