Humanitarian crisis in Pakistan

A message from Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum about the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan.

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community,

As we welcome our new and returning students this weekend, I am reminded that the idyllic setting of our campus is, for some, a stark contrast to the conditions at home. As war rages in Ukraine and other parts of the globe, this summer we have also seen the devastating impact of climate change in record-breaking heat, the drying of precious waterways in Europe and elsewhere, and infrastructure collapse, catastrophic fires and floods here in the United States and abroad.

Right now, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Pakistan, the result of torrential monsoon rains, ten times heavier than usual, causing widespread flooding. In just the last few days, more than one-third of the country of Pakistan has been subsumed by the floods, and millions of people have been displaced and food supplies disrupted. At Mount Holyoke, we have a significant population of Pakistani students and alums. Our relationship with schools in the region goes back to the nineteenth century. Though our impact on an international tragedy of this magnitude may seem small, extending support to those whose loved ones may be directly impacted and doing what we can to provide support and assistance to students arriving or returning from Pakistan is essential. More broadly as a community, we can recognize our global responsibility to mitigate the climate change that is at the root of such disasters and disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.

To that end, our Miller Worley Center for the Environment offers opportunities for students, faculty and staff to be involved in the fight against climate disruption in ways that are ongoing and transformative for our local community and beyond. I encourage members of the campus community to engage with our Community Commitment to Climate Justice (CC2CJ); watch for more information about a campus leadership summit on climate justice being planned for April 2023.

Should any member of our community need support due to the impact of these events, please note the following resources:

  • Students can make use of the Counseling Services 24/7 hotline by calling 413-538-2037.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program at 888-881-5462.


Beverly Daniel Tatum
Interim President