Flood impact on children
BANGKOK, October 7, 2011 – UNICEF is increasingly concerned about the well-being of children affected by rising floodwaters that are forcing the evacuation of thousands of families and causing massive property damage in Thailand.
UNICEF has been closely monitoring the impact of the flooding, which is currently affecting 28 provinces and is severely threatening several provinces in the Central region. Weather forecasts call for continued rain over the next few days, which could increase floodwater depths in some provinces and result in new flooding in other areas.
“Every effort should be made in all areas affected by the floods to ensure the safety and well being of children,” said UNICEF Thailand Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “Children are the most vulnerable in any major emergency, and flooding on the scale that is now occurring in Thailand poses a particular threat to their lives.”
Forty children are among the more than 250 people who have been reported killed in the floods, with most deaths due to drowning. An estimated 500,000 children live in areas that have been inundated by floodwaters.
The Thai government has mounted a massive relief effort, coordinated by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, to respond to needs of some 2.6 million people affected by the floods. The Thai military, Thai Red Cross, the Rajaprachanukroh Foundation under Royal Patronage, the Royal Family and local media are among those also providing assistance.
To date there has been no official request from the Thai government to UNICEF or other international organizations for assistance in relief efforts. Over the next days and weeks, UNICEF will remain in close contact with government and other partners in order to continue monitoring the scale of the flooding and on-going relief efforts.