Geneva, 17 (EFE).- Over four million children are struggling to survive in flood-hit areas of Pakistan, where they are exposed to contamination and sanitation, the United Nations children’s fund Unicef warned Tuesday.
Unicef’s representative in Pakistan, Abdullah Fadil, warned that millions of children were already suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth and that the situation may have deteriorated exponentially in recent months.
“The rains have ended; and sadly, to a great degree, so has media attention. And yet 4 million children fight for survival near contaminated and stagnant flood waters,” Fadil said in a statement.
In addition to the thousands of homes that were destroyed during the record 2022 floods, Unicef said that at least 27,000 schools were washed away in the most affected districts, which has left a huge number of young people without access to an education in Pakistan.
Unicef’s appeal to raise $173 million in flood relief funds remained far short of the target with less than half the amount raised so far, Fadil said.
The Unicef representative welcomed the $9 billion that had been pledged by international donors at a solidarity conference in Geneva last week and called for funds to be deployed for the children of Pakistan.
“Real economic recovery and sustained growth can only be achieved if we make the necessary investments to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of children,” Fadil said.
According to the expert, vulnerable communities need reliable access to essential services like healthcare, nutrition, education, protection, hygiene, and sanitation, particularly in remote areas.
“Pakistan is a known climate hotspot, and it is only a matter of time before another large-scale climate disaster strikes the country’s children.
“We need flexible funding to double our efforts today; and long-term investment that addresses persistent inequities that girls and boys have faced for far too long,” Fadil added.
Pakistan suffered the worst floods in its recent history in 2022 caused by record monsoon rains.
According to the Pakistani government, over 33 million people were affected by the floods and 1,700 were killed.
The floods have caused $33 billion in material damages and losses, according to the UN and the government of Pakistan.EFE