EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Devastating flooding has been slamming Pakistan over the last several months leaving many in the country homeless.
More than 33 million people have been impacted by the floods, which have killed over 1,000 people. The country’s government blames climate change for the disastrous floods.
Dr. Syed Hussain, a Pakistan native and physician practicing in North Smithfield, tells 12 News he was shocked when he first learned of the flooding.
“This cannot be real,” Hussain said. “They’ve lost everything.”
“We know many people that are affected over there whose relatives live in Rhode Island,” he added.
Hussain has been living in Rhode Island for two decades, but visited his home country a couple of years ago. He said it’s been horrific seeing the images from Pakistan.
Dr. Saud Javed, president of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England, tells 12 News the situation is dire.
“The worst part is we cannot go back and help them,” he said. “It’s so far.”
Javed, who’s based out of Worcester, said he and others at first felt helpless watching the devastation, but then they realized they could do something locally to help.
The physicians association is fundraising and collecting donations to help bring some relief to their home country. They hope the donation drive will also raise awareness in hopes that something happening thousands of miles away is having an impact on some New Englanders.
The Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England is holding a fundraiser Saturday in Wayland, Mass., in hopes of raising money for those impacted by the floods.
In the meantime, the group is also reaching out to businesses and organizations about matching donations.