The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Saturday expressed concern over 3.4 million children in need of “immediate, lifesaving support” in Pakistan post devastating floods.
“Super floods” in Pakistan have left 3.4 million children in need of “immediate, lifesaving support,” according to UNICEF. The floods — caused by record monsoon rains and dubbed by one minister as “the worst humanitarian disaster in a decade” — have impacted 16 million children in total, UNICEF’s Pakistan Representative Abdullah Fadil said following his visit this week to the country’s southern Sindh Province, reported agencies.
That estimate came as the country’s National Disaster Management Authority updated the death toll from the floods since mid-June to 1,545 people, 552 of them children. Meanwhile, officials in the country warn that the toll is likely to rise as deaths are being underreported and diseases like dengue fever are on the rise, reported agencies.
Azra Pechuho, health minister for the southern Sindh Province — one of the hardest hit areas where many schools and other facilities remain shut, said there was now a “state of emergency” caused by the vast amount of standing water, which provides the perfect breeding conditions for Aedes mosquitoes to spread the dengue virus. UNICEF’s Fadil said the situation on the ground in Sindh was “beyond bleak” with many malnourished children battling diseases like diarrhoea, malaria and dengue fever, as well as painful skin conditions.