With the constant stream of new stories hitting the headlines (and everything that’s going on in Ireland and internationally, particularly in the past few months) two crises have received less attention than they deserve. For us, being pro-life is about protecting human life at all stages, so this week we are shining a light on these crises and making it easier for you to help those in need.

Massive floods in Pakistan

Since June, monsoons and flooding have killed 1,391 people and affected 3.3 million in Pakistan. Half a million people there have become homeless.

One-third of the country is under water. (These satellite images give some idea of the scale of the devastation.) Some are still stuck in flooded buildings, and with no access to food, clean water, or medicine:

The entire city is drowned with people inside their houses. No one from the government has come to help us.

Khalid Hussain (quoted in the Guardian, “‘There is nothing for us’: Pakistan’s flood homeless start to despair”, 7 September 2022

Pregnant women are undertaking dangerous journeys to try to get medical assistance when they go into labour – and even if they deliver their babies safely, malnutrition is a looming danger.

Ayesha Arbelo went into labour as the floodwaters hit her village; her father rushed her to hospital, where she gave birth to her daughter Shehzadi by C-section. The family are sheltering at a camp, 50 miles from her hometown of Mehar, in Pakistan’s stricken Sindh province. She said:

Sometimes we don’t eat for two days and I’ve no milk to breastfeed my child. I’m sick and so is my baby. The hospital gave me medicine. God willing, she’ll be all right now.


Concern is providing emergency assistance on the ground, including cash assistance so families can buy food, dry rations, tarpaulins and makeshift tents, medications and transportation, as well as working with local partners providing primary health services through mobile medical health camps delivering maternal health services and screening for malnutrition. You can donate to their emergency appeal here.

Famine in the Horn of Africa

A famine on a scale that has not been seen in decades is looming in the Horn of Africa.

Source: Famine Early Warning Systems Network

It is forecasted that the rainy season (which should normally occur over the next few months) will fail for the fifth year running. UNICEF recently reported that hundreds of children have died of malnutrition and related diseases in nutrition centres across Somalia.

The Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, recently visited northern Kenya and South Sudan, and said:

I visited health clinics and saw severely malnourished children…

Listening to their mothers was heartbreaking. Malnutrition rates in these clinics have doubled since February and are going to worsen as the drought continues.

Source: The Irish Times

Faduma Abdiqadir Warsame, who manages nine camps for displaced people on the outskirts of Mogadishu, said her team had buried 115 children and elderly people in the past three months. To Irish people, the conditions she describes are horrifically reminiscent of what we learned about the Great Famine in history class:

“The thousands of families who remain are just skeletons. If not immediately helped they will follow suit,” she said, adding that most people were too poor to afford a proper burial.

“Children are buried like garbage in the alleys and along the walls.”

Minister Brophy said he witnessed on his week-long trip how Irish funding is “keeping people alive, but the crisis is outpacing the current international response”.

“We urgently need our international partners to step up to save lives,” he added.

The Irish Emergency Alliance (whose member organisations are Action AidChristian AidPlan InternationalSelf Help AfricaTearfundTrócaire and World Vision Ireland) are organising an emergency appeal – you can donate here.