According to UNICEF, almost half of the 3.3 million people affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan are children. Torrential rains killed more than 1,200 people, including 400 children, and destroyed many infrastructures vital to children’s well-being.
The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that monsoon rains and subsequent floods have damaged or destroyed at least 18,000 schools across the country, leaving millions of children without access to education. It said that hospitals and other infrastructure that children depend on for essential services have been put out of commission.
Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF’s representative in Pakistan, said the affected children were among the most vulnerable in the country. He also said that they live in 72 worst affected districts.
Speaking from the capital Islamabad on Friday, UNICEF’s representative in Pakistan said that before the floods, 40 percent of children were already suffering from stunting, a disease that disrupts the sense of belonging.
He said that children in these areas who do not have homes, schools or even safe water are at high risk of water-borne diseases.
Diarrhea, cholera, you can imagine all the diseases will hit them very soon, he said. So, we also have to be ready to respond in all these cases. There are eight weeks of winter left, so we need to get ready for that too.
Fadil said it was difficult to conduct relief and rescue operations as many areas were isolated due to floods. Nevertheless, he said UNICEF teams were working to distribute humanitarian supplies to the four affected provinces.
Source: Voice of America