Winnipeggers rally to help flood relief efforts in Pakistan

Winnipeggers with roots in Pakistan are organizing to help raise funds for flood relief efforts.

Monsoon season has ravaged the country with devastating flooding

A family wades through a flood-hit area on Monday following heavy monsoon rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (Abdul Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

Images of devastating floods in Pakistan hit close to home for Winnipegger Hammad Khan.

"It's tough to watch those images. I grew up in that country, and I have friends who were impacted or their families [have] been impacted by this flood," Khan said.

A catastrophic monsoon season has brought flash flooding, washing away villages and crops and leaving more than 1,000 people dead, many of them children. 

The country's climate minister, Sherry Rehman, has called this year's monsoon season and the subsequent flooding "a serious climate catastrophe."

Khan is the general secretary of the Pakistan Business Association in Winnipeg, which raised $200,000 — funds then matched by the provincial government — when Pakistan experienced similar flooding in 2010. 

"This is a humanitarian effort … doesn't matter what part of the world that we live in, or where we come from, we're just helping another human being," Khan said.

Hammad Khan, general secretary of the Pakistan Business Association in Manitoba, has friends affected by the flooding. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Winnipegger Masroor Khan is on his way to Pakistan to help; millions of people need of food, shelter and medicine.

"The food insecurity is a big issue right now, so that will be our focus … basically [the trip] is all about … the critical survival issues that people face right now," he said on Monday from the Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

Masroor Khan (who is not related to Hammad Khan) leads the Canada Pakistan Trade and Cultural Association of Manitoba, which is teaming up with the Manitoba Islamic Association and others to raise relief funds. 

"When the floods settle down, we will be focusing on reconstruction efforts … making sure that people start their lives back normally," he said.

A group of organizations in Manitoba is working on organizing a fundraiser for Pakistan during the second weekend in September. The Manitoba Islamic Association says on its website that it is matching community donations up to $5,000.

The Pakistani government says more than 33 million people — nearly 15 per cent of the country's population — are currently homeless because of the floods.

On Monday, the Canadian government announced $5 million in funding for humanitarian assistance in Pakistan.

Winnipeggers rally to help flood relief efforts in Pakistan

1 year ago
Duration 1:59
Winnipeggers with roots in Pakistan are rallying to help victims of flooding in the South Asian country. Pakistan has been inundated with monsoon rains.Thousands are dead, and more than 30-million people have been affected.


Jenn Allen


Jenn Allen is a reporter at CBC Manitoba. She studied journalism and communications in Winnipeg. You can get in touch with her at:

With files from Lamia Abozaid