Thailand is experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years. By 1 November, more than a third of the country had suffered severe flooding that claimed over 380 lives, including 62 children.
Two boys play in the flood waters on a road in Ayutthaya Province. Of the 62 children who had died in the floods by 1 November, mostly due to drowning, 40 were boys..
An aerial view of a flooded temple in central province of Ayutthaya, an ancient city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one of the provinces hardest-hit by floods.
A 106-year-old woman is among those who have taken shelter at an unfinished building in Ayutthaya that is now serving as an evacuation centre. More than 2.3 million people in Thailand have been affected by floods.
At Ayutthaya City Hall, evacuees queue up to receive free food and water. Many lost nearly all of their belongings due to rising flood waters.
Children are extremely vulnerable during floods. Threats include death due to drowning, outbreaks of waterborne disease and possible separation from their families. An estimated 500,000 children are currently affected by the floods.
At the evacuation centre in Ayutthaya City Hall, children pass the time drawing and painting. UNICEF, in partnership with Save the Children, is supporting the establishment of child-friendly spaces at evacuation centres.
A girl hangs her drawing at the child-friendly space in Ayutthaya City Hall. Child-friendly spaces are designed to serve as safe and protective places for children in times of emergency.
Children sing and dance at the child-friendly space at Ayutthaya City Hall. Child-friendly spaces provide children with a variety of learning and play activities that can help alleviate fears and stress resulting from the experience of being displaced by floods.
Notes posted in the child-friendly space at Ayutthaya City Hall. This simple message from Pae, 8, says: “I don’t want the world to be flooded”. Pae and his family were evacuated from Nakhon Sawan Province to Ayutthaya several days ago.
Marisa Pa-obchan, 13, (right) learns how to make key chains at an evacuation centre in Ayutthaya. Marisa, who has been staying with her displaced family in a department store’s car park for a week, says working on crafts makes her feel better.
Opposite the Ayutthaya City Hall is an unfinished four-story building that is now serving as another evacuation centre for hundreds of people who have been displaced by floods.
A boy walks up the stairs in the evacuation centre. Officials are concerned about possible child injuries at the unfinished building due to the lack of handrails and other basic safety features.
Sujira Imsamran, 26, delivered her baby 10 days ago, right after being evacuated from her home in Ayutthaya Province. Sujira and her baby have been staying at the evacuation centre for almost a week now.
Thitiporn Phachen, 32, (right) breastfeeds her five-month old baby at the evacuation centre. UNICEF is urging mothers at evacuation centres to continue breastfeeding. Use of infant formula during floods is risky, as contaminated water and feeding bottles can cause severe diarrhoea in infants.
At a temporary clinic inside the evacuation centre, a one-year-old boy is treated for diarrhea, one of the most common illnesses among young children affected by floods.
Art made by children on display at the child-friendly space inside the evacuation centre. Many children say they fear further flooding and do not want to return home.