GENEVA/ISLAMABAD, 11 August 2010 - As the figures continue to rise, UNICEF says that 6 million children have been affected by the floods in Pakistan with some 2.7 million children in need of urgent, life-saving assistance.
According to UN estimates, a total of 14 million people have been affected by the flood crisis. Hundreds of thousands have received humanitarian aid, but millions more urgently need shelter, food, water, and health care. The flooding could worsen considerably in the coming days, especially in parts of Sindh.
"This is the biggest natural disaster to hit Pakistan and this region in living memory, bigger than the Tsunami or the 2005 earthquake, with millions of children and women struggling to survive in dire conditions. It is a race against time as we rush to deliver supplies to affected populations. The waters are still rising and we are bracing for flood waves as rivers overflow and the rains continue," said Martin Mogwanja, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.
"Shelter is the most urgent need, while food, water, and health care are also critical. Right now we need to save lives and create temporary living conditions for the 1.8 million homeless. It is a massive task and we are not there yet. Once we are, we can begin to think about the longer-term recovery of regions in Pakistan which have suffered widespread devastation," added Mr. Mogwanja.
UNICEF is particularly concerned with the risk of water-borne diseases and working with the Government to ensure that basic water, sanitation and hygiene services are repaired to prevent major health outbreaks. UNICEF is also delivering assistance in the areas of nutrition, education and child protection.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For further information, please contact:
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media, New York,
Tel + 1 212 326-7426,
Marco Jimenez Rodriguez, UNICEF Media, Geneva,
Tel + 41 22 909 5716,
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