UNICEF has appealed for $47.3 million to fund its relief operation for the millions hit by flooding in Pakistan, including an estimated 1.4 million children. Pakistan is facing the worst flooding in more than 80 years. Heavy monsoon rains have affected close to 4 million people across the country.
“UNICEF is ramping up its relief operation for the millions of people affected by the flooding in Pakistan. Many of those are children who are especially vulnerable to disease and the present harsh conditions. They need water, medicine, food and shelter urgently. Our immediate priority is to reach all those hit by the flooding especially those in the most remote areas,” said Martin Mogwanja, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.
The UNICEF relief operation will concentrate on the critical areas of water and sanitation, health, nutrition, education and child protection. The largest part of the operation is the provision of water and sanitation systems to head off the outbreak of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera, especially deadly to children. UNICEF is already providing clean drinking water to over half a million people and will bring in emergency food rations and emergency health kits.
The flooding has caused widespread destruction of infrastructure with roads submerged and bridges swept away. Power lines are down and many hospitals, schools and sanitation systems have been severely damaged. There is also concern at the damage to crops and livestock in regions where agriculture is the main source of income.
“The appeal also reflects our concern for the longer-term recovery operation in regions where critical infrastructures has been affected and livestock and crops have been wiped out,” said Mr. Mogwanja.
The figures in the appeal will continue to be revised according to information coming in from ongoing assessments and response efforts will be coordinated through inter-agency Cluster Response Plans.