“I’m Shagufta, I lost my husband 5 years ago and my three daughters all study at Dean Public School. I was doing cleaning, dish washing and laundry work in different houses to earn my wages. During Coronavirus, I can’t go to any house for job and I was struggling to provide food for my children.
I get upset and cry out to God when my children go to sleep hungry. It is very painful.
Now Starfish has provided a food parcel. I thank God that at least for few weeks, my children will not sleep without food.
God bless Starfish and donors.”
COVID-19 Status in Pakistan
The official statistics reported from Pakistan on 29 April 2020 state 14,885 COVID-19 cases, and 327 deaths. These are likely to be significantly understated, for a variety of reasons including a lack of testing.
Although every death is to be mourned, the immediate problem in Pakistan and for much of the developing world is probably not the virus, but the individual economic impact of lockdown on those who are daily-wage earners. Many Christian families have been without any income/food for well over a month. Distribution of government support is too little, and we have only heard of a few Christians receiving anything at all from official sources.
Schools and many businesses are closed and the country stays in lockdown until at least the middle of May. Some restrictions have been lifted for Ramzan, and there is pressure on the Government to try to get the economy working. Many are still hungry and without food.
What has been achieved so far through the Appeal?
Donations to the appeal are a reflection of God’s mercy, and amazingly we have received around £47,000 so far. Thank you to all who have made this possible.
As a result, we have been able to extend our support to many more families in need than originally hoped.
In April Starfish Pakistan have distributed aid, mainly in food parcels, to over 10,000 people in 1,300 families connected with 49 schools that Starfish support in addition to several others. We currently plan to provide at least the same in May and June.
Tariq Masih usually works in a café as a sweeper. He lost his income during the lockdown. To provide food for his children, he tried to get credit from a local shop but was refused.
He was worried how he was going to provide food for his children.
His prayers were answered when Mrs Sweeta, Head Teacher of the Risen Hope School in Islamabad provided food through Starfish Pakistan.
Here are just some photos from April’s food distribution:
Starfish thank you. I didn’t have money. I went to church, prayed and the Lord provided. Thank you.