Islamabad, Oct 28 (EFE).- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday that massive floods that have devastated Pakistan since June have left around 10 million children in need of immediate emergency aid.
UNICEF South Asia director George Laryea-Adjei said after visiting the areas worst hit by the floods that “nearly 10 million children need immediate, lifesaving support.”
“The children I have met here have lost everything: loved ones, cherished schoolbooks, the only homes they ever knew, their schools, their sense of security,” he said in a statement issued by the UNICEF.
One in every nine children in the country are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which is potentially life threatening.
This has resulted in “panic-stricken” parents desperately searching for food for their offspring, according to the statement.
The children also face the risk of contracting water-borne diseases or those whose risk increases due to stagnating water, such as diarrhea, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid and acute respiratory infections.
Moreover, “as winter looms, boys and girls crammed inside flimsy tents, when they are lucky enough to have one, will continue to succumb to diseases which in normal times are preventable and treatable,” Laryea-Adjei warned.
Massive floods have submerged large parts of Pakistan since June, killing at least 1,731 people including 645 children, and fully or partially damaging over 1.3 million houses.
The UNICEF regional director highlighted that the children are victims of a meteorological disaster triggered by the climate change, in which they played no part, but “they are the ones paying the biggest price.”
South Asia has been seriously affected by floods exacerbated by the climate crisis this year, leaving over 15 million children in need of aid in Pakistan, Bangladesh, northern India and Afghanistan, along with landslides in Nepal.
The “climate catastrophe” is threatening the health, well-being and survival of over 616 children in the region, Laryea-Adjei said.
“Without urgent global action, the climate devastation we have seen in Pakistan will, I fear, only be a precursor of many more child survival catastrophes to come,” he added. EFE