UNICEF says crisis not over for Pakistani flood-hit children

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 12:11

Islamabad: UNICEF has appealed for millions of dollars of additional aid for the children in Pakistan worst hit by the summer`s floods, warning that the winter posed a growing threat.

The UN body Tuesday said it needed $82.1 million "to expand urgently needed support to improve widespread malnutrition and to stop polio spreading".

The plea was in addition to the $2 billion the UN said it needed to help the flood victims. UN officials said that only 49 percent of the funds it required have so far been secured in cash.

The floods triggered by unusually strong monsoon rains in late July swamped one fifth of Pakistan, killing 1,985 and affecting more than 20 million people.

Around 2.2 hectares of crops were washed away along with dozens of bridges and hundreds of kilometers of roads. Some 10,000 schools and rural health centres were also damaged.

Many of the displaced families have returned to their homes but they still rely on the assistance provided by the UN and Pakistani government. Around 1 million still live in tent cities.

"This crisis is far from over," Daniel Toole, Unicef`s regional director for South Asia, said in a statement.

"It has just evolved in very different ways from one part of Pakistan to the next and the humanitarian effort has had to adapt swiftly to reach children and women most in need as their needs change," he added.

"The impact of the floods in Pakistan will be felt for years to come, so the more we can do now the quicker children and families will recover, and that means urgently needed funds to do our job better," Toole said.

IANS



First Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 12:11

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