A third Baptist World Aid volunteer team left Wednesday to assist earthquake victims in Pakistan, the relief agency reported Friday.
The team took $30,000 to establish a camp in Bagh, one of the hardest hit towns in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, where relief workers have been unable to find enough tents for residents and villagers streaming in from the mountains seeking shelter before the coming winter.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“There are over three million people who lost their homes,” reported Attila Szilagyi, senior relief <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />officer of Hungarian Baptist Aid and a participant in the third relief team. “They live in tents provided by the international community or still in the open air in the freezing cold in the mountainous areas.”
“Baptists want to share in helping the needy victims of this earthquake,” he said. “We plan to set up a camp with at least 200 tents for some 1,200-1,500 people. We need to move quickly to help them live through the winter.”
The first group of volunteers, the BWAid Rescue 24 team, led by Hungarian Baptist Aid, left Hungary Oct. 9, a day after the devastating earthquake, which has killed 54,000 so far. Officials fear cold and wet weather might kill many more.
The team at first dug through ruins, failing to find any survivors, before turning to medical care. The teams doctors and paramedics treated 400 patients during the first five days.
A second medical and relief team left Oct. 12. The two teams took along $20,000 to purchase relief and aid. Volunteers include workers from Virginia and North Carolina.
While the rescue phase is over, BWAid workersr are still there trying to provide tents, blankets, food, water and medicine, said Paul Montacute, director of BWAid.
“This costs money, and that is whey we need the ongoing support and supply of donations frm Baptist unions and convetions, churches and individuals,” he said.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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