Continuing responses to Covid-19 in South Asia: focus on the poor

Pakistan: Prayer – Care – Share – Fair

Pakistan Partnership Initiative’s response is based on four beliefs:

Prayer for Pakistan and its people

Care as God’s people

Share resources and energies

Fair distribution to all

“The pandemic continues to deepen its impact on Pakistan’s society, not only economic disruption but also additional strain on public services… PPI believes that the local capacity is one of the main assets to enhance and we are committed to build upon the existing resources in revitalisation of socio-economic fabric of the society.”

The many local projects that PPI helps to co-ordinate include:

• providing unconditional cash assistance or food assistance to vulnerable Christian communities, in order to curb hunger and poverty, and to sustain consumption and markets;

•supporting home-based workers, daily wage labourers, domestic workers and MSMEs led by women;

• prioritising capacity development, with technical and financial support to Christian households in setting up small businesses;

• promoting the idea of community kitchens to support those in need as well as providing an opportunity to serve;

• establishing child friendly education centres, using church space.

Kareema is a 62-year old widow. Her youngest daughter (14 years old) had been working as a labourer in the fields until the COVID19 emergency. The family had no income or government support. Upon receiving a cash grant of PKR 10,000, Kareema was grateful to God, PVDP team and PPI for supporting their village. “I have bought food items with PKR 5,000 and the remaining of the money shall be enough to sustain our house for another month.”

 

India: ‘Sheep adopt Shepherds’

Paul & Su East write: “We are thankful for the Holy Spirit’s prompting to the church to respond in various ways. The Herbertpur Christian Hospital Fellowship is regularly in touch with 60 plus Shepherds – who have not gathered with their congregations for nearly five months. Some share through ZOOM or mobile phones.

23 are in real financial need and the HCH Fellowship is committed to supporting them until there is a return to normal. Individual staff families have each adopted a ‘shepherd’ and his ‘flock’.

With the current stress, Shepherds face a growing challenge of mental illness amongst their fellowships. The
Community Health teams are teaching online about mental health and have invited 15 Shepherds for the course ‘Beyond Suffering’.