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Scale of flood crisis in Pakistan unimaginable

Floods in Pakistan
Millions need to go back to their homes, millions need support for good health

15 August 2010: UNICEF appeals for increased international support in Pakistan.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 17 August 2010 – UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Daniel Toole visited Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province this week to survey the devastation caused by the country’s severe flooding.

Mr. Toole also reviewed the organisation’s support for hundreds of thousands of women and children in one of the worst-hit provinces of Pakistan.

‘Massive’ crisis

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1605/ZAK
UNICEF's Shandana Durrani looks on while a woman receives her antenatal vaccination. UNICEF is supporting mobile health teams to deliver urgent critical health services to flood-affected children and women who are at risk of water-borne and other diseases

“The emergency here in Pakistan is massive, and the scale and scope have not been understood by the international community,” said Mr. Toole during his visit. “We need rapid, huge support. There are millions of people displaced … people need support to go back to their homes, they need support for good health.”

He added that, in collaboration with UN agencies, the provincial government has made an enormous effort to provide a lifeline for those most vulnerable – including children. But he also emphasised the need to reach out to those who have been isolated with the utmost speed.

UNICEF is one of several organisations that have been delivering much-needed relief in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa since the onset of the floods in late July. The crisis has killed at least 1,600 people and affected nearly 20 million people across Pakistan, according to government estimates.

UNICEF needs your support

UNICEF teams have been delivering safe drinking water, critical medical supplies, supplementary food and family hygiene kits to more than a million people a day. In addition, UNICEF is supporting mobile medical teams, vaccination campaigns and sanitation efforts across the affected zone.

But these efforts remain dwarfed by the scale of the tragedy.

“UNICEF needs the support of others,” said Mr. Toole, calling for the organisation’s donors to contribute to relief efforts. The organisation has released US$ 7 million from its own internal funds to provide water to those living in displacement camps, he said, but more funds are urgently needed.

“We have an emergency with maybe 20 million people affected,” said Mr. Toole. “That’s a scale we have not dealt with in a very long time. We need massive resources to be able to respond, to provide health care and nutrition.”

UNICEF has appealed for US$ 47.3 million for urgent and immediate needs over the next three months, but so far the organisation has only a received a fraction of this number in pledges.


For more information, please contact:

Indra Kumari Nadchatram
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6012 292 6872,

Juana Jaafar
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6016 233 0231,





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