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New UNICEF Representative visits flood affected areas in Sindh

Karachi, 22 April, 2011: Newly arrived UNICEF Country Representative Dan Rohrmann today concluded his first field visit to Sindh where he observed UNICEF’s early recovery activities in the wake of the devastating floods of 2010.  

During the 4-day tour, Mr. Rohrmann met with provincial government officials to discuss the continuation of recovery efforts and scaling-up rehabilitation and development work under the Delivering As One UN Framework. Key to this was meeting with the Provincial Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad; the Advisor to the Governor, Kaiser Bengali; the Minister of Health Dr Sagheer Ahmad; members of the Health Department and the Secretary of Education, Ms Naheed Duranni.

“The flood response and the early recovery efforts ongoing by the Government and all partners is impressive and the commitment of the people of Sindh is truly remarkable.  This challenges UNICEF to continue the pace and scale-up. Activities are in full-swing and we pledge our continued commitment to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children,” said Mr Rohrmann.

Working with federal, provincial government and district governments, in the emergency phase of the flood disaster, UNICEF provided life-saving emergency humanitarian assistance to more than a million people in Sindh.

As part of emergency relief and early recovery activities in Sindh, UNICEF has supported:
· Provision of clean water, hygiene sessions and basic sanitation to 1.5 million people∙
· Nutritional assistance to more than 23,400 malnourished children
· More than 2,400 temporary learning centres providing education to more than 100,000 children
· Measles and polio vaccinations for nearly 3 million children.

In addition to meeting with key government officials, private sector and other stakeholders, Mr Rohrmann and UNICEF Deputy Representative Ms Karen Allen visited UNICEF-supported flood-recovery operations in the village of Suleman Kehari in Thatta. Here they observed ongoing construction of a temporary school structure being built and a temporary learning center in use to ensure children get back to learning quickly until planned reconstruction of flood-damaged schools is completed.

During the visit, Mr Rohrmann and the UNICEF team learned that more than twice the number of school children are now attending primary school at the temporary learning center compared to pre-flood attendance figures. Most of the new students are girls.

 “In a province where 40 per cent of children are not attending primary school, the fact that the number of children has doubled in this one village is extremely encouraging, in particular the increased number of girls that attend,” said Mr Rohrmann.

Mr Rohrmann and the UNICEF Team interacted with women, children and health workers and observed UNICEF-supported water and sanitation activities as well as, malnutrition screening, and other health activities.

“We must continue to scale-up efforts to eradicate polio, address malnutrition, and improve access to sanitation and education to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children,” said Mr Rohrmann.

“Now our collective challenge is to raise funds to ensure that each child in Sindh has access to good quality education and replicate this result across the province,” he added.

“The progress on flood recovery efforts is encouraging, but the work does not stop there. We must continue to scale-up efforts to eradicate polio, address malnutrition, and improve access to sanitation and education to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children,” said Mr Rohrmann.

 

 

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