Pakistan in dire need of humanitarian aid

Large parts of Pakistan have been flooded away, and starvation and disease are increasing with this disaster. Humanitarian aid from the global community is crucial.

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Flood-affected Naveed Afzal carries his niece Afshan at Jindi village in flood-hit Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on September 1.

Photo by Abdul Majeed/AFP via Getty Images

We need to help victims of the climate change disaster in Pakistan, with 33 million people impacted by severe flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains. Over 1,000 people have died, and 1 million homes have been destroyed, with roads and bridges washed away.

They need emergency food aid, especially for small children who are most vulnerable to deadly malnutrition.

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Khuram Gondal, Save the Children’s Pakistan country director, says: “The situation is going from bad to worse. Rains continue to fall on already inundated communities. Hundreds of thousands of families have been left homeless, many of whom had very little to start with, and they now have nothing. Many who previously fled to higher ground are now being forced to leave again — and again — and again.”

Humanitarian aid from the global community is crucial. You can help by donating to charities with relief missions in Pakistan and also write your elected officials about increasing overseas aid.

The World Food Program, already under strain from feeding many nations on the brink of famine, needs urgent funding for Pakistani relief. Save the Children, UNICEF, Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services, CARE and other charities also need support to save lives.

William Lambers, author, “Ending World Hunger”

A debt of gratitude to labor

Labor Day is more than a holiday to me — it is an opportunity to appreciate the toil, dedication and ingenuity of the American labor workforce. Labor Day first became a federal holiday in 1894.

Hard-working people, representing various labor unions, have continuously raised our nation’s standard of living, improving the lives of each generation. Our cities, our state and our country are run more efficiently and are better off because of labor.

As I approach the end of my 24th and final year as Illinois secretary of state, I am deeply thankful to our state’s wonderful labor unions for the continuous support I received from them throughout my time in public office. I could always count on labor, and I remain grateful.

I want the members of the labor movement to know that even though I may be retiring, you can still count on me. I will continue to support your efforts to ensure workers are guaranteed good and fair wages and safe working conditions and that everyone is treated equally. We are in this together.

Thank you for all that you do to make Illinois and our nation great.

Jesse White, Illinois secretary of state

North vs. South

In the past, southern Illinois politicians and citizens have suggested Illinois be divided into North Illinois and South Illinois. That’s fine with me. The north keeps the revenue it generates, and the south does the same.

Let’s see how the south feels now about a North and South Illinois.

John Petersen, Belmont Heights

Cooper’s struggle to recover

Continuing to read about the injuries and suffering of 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, shot by a man using a legally purchased gun as he watched Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade with his family, is utterly heartbreaking.

Of the tens of thousands of deaths and serious injuries resulting from guns this and every year, Cooper’s agonizing ordeal would by itself put to shame all the fervent 2nd Amendment gun rights supporters.

Thomas Field, Lakeview

Bad arguments against student loan forgiveness

The GOP’s attacks on President Joe Biden’s forgiveness of college student loans as a handout to rich Harvard graduates is, at best, disingenuous and dishonest.

Is the GOP living in another universe? What sane college student from a rich family would take out a college loan they don’t need? And what wealthy parents would allow their child to take out a college loan they don’t need?

The reality is these loans have been a lifeline for students from households of lesser financial means. And a disproportionately high percentage of recipients are Black and Hispanic, since those households are more likely to be of lesser means.

Then again, the GOP’s opposition to loan forgiveness epitomizes their philosophy: to attack anything that gives kids from poor households, as well as Hispanic and Black people, any chance at upward mobility and full participation in the American dream.

Dan Lauber, River Forest

Humane treatment of migrants

Mayor Lori Lightfoot deservedly put Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in his place concerning the busing of migrants to Chicago as part of his mean-spirited plan. New York and Washington, D.C., have had the same experience.

The bigotry is so obvious when Abbott rages and rants about Mexican, Central American and Haitian migrants, aided by the despicable, hate-oriented coverage of Fox News, a network that seems to have an obsession with this.

What Abbott does not tell you is this important fact: He has made a political calculation that if enough of these migrants gain citizenship and are allowed to vote, they won’t support the GOP. He is probably right about that, but then why should they support a party that has treated them like rags?

If these migrants came from Canada or Europe and were white and had blonde hair, Abbott and his ilk could care less.

Kudos to Lightfoot and Mayor Eric Adams in New York for standing up to this bigot and putting him in his place.

Herb Vermaas, Salem

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