ISLAMABAD (AP) – Devastating floods in Pakistan’s worst-hit province have killed 10 more people in the past day, including four children, officials said Wednesday as the UN’s children’s agency renewed its appeal for $39 million to help the victims. flood and vulnerable.
Only a third of the amount in the funding appeal has been met so far, UNICEF said in a statement. Pakistani doctors and medical workers are struggling to contain outbreaks of water-borne diseases, malaria, and dengue fever among hundreds of thousands of survivors now living in tents in southern Sindh province.
The unprecedented monsoon rains and floods, which many experts attribute to climate change, have affected 33 million people and killed up to 1,569 people across the country since mid-June.
Of that number, 701 people – including 293 children and 131 women – died in Sindh, where many areas are still under water. Hollywood actress and United Nations humanitarian Angelina Jolie paid a surprise visit to Sindh on Tuesday, meeting some of the flood victims.
UNICEF said more than 3.4 million children have been uprooted from their homes and the flood waters have claimed the lives of more than 550 children across Pakistan.
“Without a significant boost in support, we fear many more children will lose their lives,” UNICEF said in a statement.
In Sindh, many roads and bridges have been washed away or badly damaged, and thousands of families remain isolated and in dire need of support. “Families have no food, safe water or medicine,” the agency said.
UNICEF has set up 71 mobile health camps and temporary schools for children in the flood-affected areas. But its $39 million appeal is still less than a third funded, UNICEF added. That sum is part of the UN’s flash appeal for $160 million to support Pakistan’s flood response.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif met with world leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, asking for more help from the international community to combat the worst floods on record.
In a televised message from New York, Sharif on Wednesday urged philanthropists to urgently and generously donate baby food to children affected by the floods. “May God reward you for this noble work,” he said.
The United Nations expressed its concern on Wednesday about increasing cases of water-borne diseases among flood survivors. “We are very concerned about the very real possibility of a wave of death and disease that is already spreading. A second disaster is looming,” the UN said in a statement.
He said more than 134,000 cases of diarrhea and 44,000 cases of malaria were reported in the flood-hit Sindh district just last week.
“Millions of children are still struggling to survive, and we fear that thousands more will not make it,” the United Nations said, adding that six children had died in Sindh before word.
Pakistan’s infrastructure and agriculture have also deteriorated, raising concerns about an imminent food crisis. Authorities say the damage caused by the floods is at least $30 billion.