Funding appeal not achieved for Pakistan flood-hit children: Unicef

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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations’ children’s fund (Unicef) has regretted that its funding appeal of $39 million for Pakistan’s flood-hit children is still less than a third funded and that needs of the children will only continue to grow.

“The world needs to come together and help the children in Pakistan. Together we can save lives by delivering life-saving health, nutrition and education services to every child in Pakistan who needs it the most,” it said.

Unicef Pakistan chief field officer in Balochistan, Gerida Birukila, told newsmen in Geneva on Tuesday that next week marked a month since catastrophic floods uprooted more than 3.4 million children from their homes in Pakistan.

“The rains and floods have already claimed the lives of more than 550 children. Without a significant surge in support, we fear many more children will lose their lives, Ms Birukila said.

“Even after three weeks, large parts of flood-affected areas are still submerged under water. Many of the roads and bridges have either been washed away or damaged. Thousands of families in 81 calamity-hit districts are still cut-off and desperately need support. Families have no food, clean water or medicines.

“Lack of food means a lot of the mothers are now anaemic and malnourished and have very low-weight babies,” she said.

“Unicef has been on the ground since day one supporting the government’s flood response. Immediately following the floods, we dispatched $1 million in prepositioned supplies, with an additional $3million of supplies delivered and being dispatched to the worst affected districts. We have set up 71 mobile health camps, and have set up temporary learning centres to help children cope with trauma,” Ms Birukila said.

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