UNICEF Concern as Monsoon Floods at to Devastation in Pakistan

UNICEF Australia are worried for the safety of up to 2.5 million children as new monsoon flooding hits southern Pakistan. The area, which is still recovering from the worst floods in the country’s history less than 12 months ago, is being hit hard by heavy rains and floods. The latest monsoon conditions are affecting at least five million people across Pakistan, with the Sindh province in southern Pakistan bearing the brunt of the disaster.

Hundreds of thousands of families have been affected in this area alone, right across 22 out of 23 districts. A staggering one million homes have been destroyed, causing huge population displacement, with over 200,000 people believed to now be staying in one of the 1,400 relief camps. These makeshift settlements have been created at schools and other strong hold buildings in and around the surrounding areas.

UNICEF Australia Chief Executive, Norman Gillespie, said –

Children are the most vulnerable in any emergency – in this disaster, many are experiencing the devastating effects of a flood emergency for the second time in a year. Their coping mechanisms were already weak and their vulnerabilities high. We are witnessing vast devastation across huge swathes of Sindh province. The key areas of concern for children right now include access to health and nutrition, safe drinking water and protection. At the beginning of an emergency like this, it is critical that children are reached with life-saving interventions and helped to return to a sense of normality. The flood waters, apart from driving children and families from their homes, have contaminated wells and other sources of drinking water, compromised sanitation and hygiene, and are contributing to a rise in water-borne diseases, such as diarrhoea.

With many families still recovering from the 2010 floods, it is now imperative that clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene is provided for the people of this region to help prevent disease outbreaks. UNICEF is now working closely with the National Disaster Management Authority at the request of the Pakistan Government to help assess the level of humanitarian needs. Let’s hope that they can deliver the essential supplies and assistance to help the people of Pakistan during their hour of need.

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