KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flooding in Pakistan has devastated villages, posing numerous challenges for communities working to recover.
Kansas City area organizations like Heart to Heart International and KC for Refugees are offering aid.
It's personal for Dr. Sophia Khan, founder of KC for Refugees.
“It’s me, it’s a part of my blood, it’s part of who I am, it means a lot to me. I was born and proud to be raised in Pakistan. Did my medical school there," Khan said.
Now living in Kansas, she is devastated by the images of flooding and destruction back home.
“Thirty-three million people have been affected. Villages have been wiped off, like the whole village is gone,” she said. "About a million homes have either been completely destroyed or damaged by this flood.”
Both communities big and small have felt the strain.
“Even in Karachi, people are just stuck at home," Khan said. "No electricity, they can't go out, water up to their knees on the streets, they can't even attend normal things like going to work, going to school."
Seeing her people brings Khan immense sadness.
“Five percent of the crops that were ready to be harvested are all gone. This means food not only for export, which is one of the major economies for Pakistan, it also means food for people who live in the country," she said. "They’re hungry, they’re starving, they don’t have clean water, they have no basic things like medicine or clothing or even a comforter or something to lay on.”
As the founder of KC for Refugees, Khan says she is glad to see organizations like Heart to Heart International supporting the cause.
“We try to determine what is needed, and in this case, it’s not people — it’s medicines and medical supplies and hygiene supplies,” said Kim Carroll, CEO of Heart to Heart International. "Everything from needles and syringes to bandages to essential medicines, the medicines that we all take to treat diabetes, over-the-counter cold.”
Carroll says with the help of volunteers, Heart to Heart’s work is far from over.
“We need to think down the road because you are going to have water born disease and infection born disease,” Carroll said. “These are all things that typically happen post flooding event, and so the need is going to continue.”
“Even if you send $5 there, that's five people who didn’t go hungry,” Khan said.