HomeWorld16 million children affected by floods in Pakistan, says UN body

16 million children affected by floods in Pakistan, says UN body

The United Nations has said that an estimated 16 million children in Pakistan have been affected by the “super floods”, of whom at least 3.4 million are in need of immediate life-saving assistance.

UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) representative Abdullah Fadil said in a statement on Friday that the situation in flood-affected areas is very serious where malnourished children are battling diarrhoea, dengue fever and several painful skin diseases.

Fadil, who recently completed a two-day tour of flood-hit areas of Sindh, said the floods have now claimed the lives of at least 528 children.

“Each one of these deaths is a tragedy that could have been avoided,” he said.

“An estimated 16 million children have been affected by these ‘super floods’ and at least 3.4 million girls and boys are in need of immediate, life-saving assistance.

“Young children living in the open with their families, without drinking water, food and livelihoods, are exposed to a wide range of new risks and threats related to flooding – from damaged buildings, drowning in flood waters and snakes. “Thousands of critical infrastructure, including schools, water systems and health facilities on which children depend, have been destroyed and damaged,” he said.

As the magnitude of the flood disaster grows, international aid continues to pour in.

“The sad reality is that without huge increases in support and assistance, many more children will lose their lives,” the UNICEF representative said.

Many mothers are anemic and are themselves malnourished and have very low birth weight babies. She said mothers are tired or sick and unable to breastfeed.

He said lakhs of families have been forced from their homes, who are now living with little more than rags to protect themselves from the scorching sun as temperatures dip below 40 degrees Celsius in some areas.

“Many families have been forced to take shelter on the slopes of higher ground, often by roadsides, putting children at risk, as the lower land is covered by vast expanses of stagnant water, as far as the eye can see. The additional threat of snakes, scorpions and mosquitoes is always present in the area,” Fadil said.

“While the number of children lost in these floods continues to rise, UNICEF is doing everything possible to support affected children and families and protect them from the current risks of water-borne diseases, malnutrition and other risks,” he said. They said.

The Japanese government on Friday decided to provide an emergency grant of USD 7 million to Pakistan in response to the damage caused by the flood disaster.

Out of USD 7 million, the World Food Program will get USD 2.5 million; International Organization for Migration (IOM) USD 1.5 million for shelter and non-food items; UNICEF USD 1 million for water, sanitation and hygiene; UNHCR USD 1 million for safety, non-food items; and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies USD 1 million for health and medical care, the statement said.

The Canadian government has announced matching of individual donations, totaling up to 3 million Canadian dollars, through the Humanitarian Coalition of 12 charitable organizations collecting money and donations in Canada in response to the floods in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 people were treated for infectious and water-borne diseases in a day in flood-hit areas of Sindh, government data showed, taking the total death toll from the floods crossed 1,500.

According to a report by the Sindh government, the flooded areas have become prone to diseases including malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea and skin problems.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, 1,545 people have lost their lives and 12,850 people have been injured in floods caused by record rains in three decades.

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