As you know, this disaster is the worst in Pakistan’s history and as this horrific situation continues to deteriorate, UNICEF is not receiving the incredible response as we have in emergencies past. With any emergency, children are the most at risk and UNICEF is on the ground taking action to save the lives of these kids. Please feel free to circulate this information as you see appropriate and to contact me with any questions.
The monsoon rains and flooding have left over 3.5 million children highly susceptible to water-borne diseases and malnutrition. These children are traumatized and in desperate need of water, food, shelter and medicine. Countless children have been orphaned and require special protection and care. If we don’t get donations for this emergency – our response will be diminished – when in reality it needs to be dramatically scaled up to meet the expanding demand and severity of this unprecedented disaster.
Summary of Immediate Needs:
Without adequate water, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery will spread and begin killing affected populations
Acute respiratory infections, skin diseases, malnutrition are top concerns, in addition to deadly water borne diseases
Children are especially vulnerable to death from such disease as many are weakened from malnutrition
UNICEF urgently needs $30 million USD to meet the immediate needs of children
Examples of UNICEF’s efforts to date:
Health kits, midwifery kits (to provide emergency medical care)
Tarps (for emergency shelter)
Clean drinking water for 1.3 million people every day
Oral rehydration salts and zinc tablets distributed to help 5 million people at risk of diarrhea and disease
Vaccinations for measles and polio initiated in the more populated districts impacted by flooding
High energy biscuits, dry rations and powdered milk distributed to women and children
Soap and hygiene kits distributed to more than 30,000 families.
I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
All my best,
UNICEF’s Pakistan Disaster Relief Operations in Jeopardy Due to Funding Shortage
6 Million Children in Desperate Need – Deadly water-borne diseases threaten child survival
NEW YORK/ISLAMABAD (Tuesday, August 17, 2010) — UNICEF warned today that serious funding shortfalls are jeopardizing its humanitarian operation in Pakistan . UNICEF is extremely concerned at the lack of funds for its water and sanitation operation, with millions of children at risk from water-borne diseases.
“Providing clean water and adequate sanitation is key to the survival of millions of flood affected people in Pakistan . In terms of numbers of people needing life-saving assistance, this emergency is bigger than the Tsunami, Haiti , and the last Pakistan earthquake put together,” said UNICEF Representative in Pakistan , Martin Mogwanja.
“UNICEF is currently providing enough clean water for 1.3 million people every day, but millions more need the same services. We urgently need to scale up the distribution of water. If we are not able to do so because of lack of funding, water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and dysentery will spread and begin killing affected populations, especially children, already weak and vulnerable to disease and malnutrition”, added Mogwanja.
The Government of Pakistan estimates 20 million people overall have been hit by the flood crises, and according to the United Nations at least 15 million people have been seriously affected, half of whom are children.
“It is unbearable to think that six million kids in immediate danger may not get clean water, nutrition and shelter because of a funding shortage,” said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern . “UNICEF is completely dependent on voluntary donations, if we don’t raise funds, we can’t respond to this emergency. Please help us get word out, and please donate whatever you can to help us meet the need. Even a dollar will be put to good use and help save lives.”
UNICEF is concerned that the floods have hit “the poorest of the poor”, those least able to survive the present harsh conditions. The top concerns are water-borne diseases, acute respiratory infections, skin diseases and malnutrition rates, already dangerously high in many flood-affected regions of Pakistan .
Polio is endemic and measles still a threat, says UNICEF, which, together with WHO and Government, is carrying out polio and measles vaccinations at relief centers. UNICEF is also supplying oral rehydration solution, a home based treatment for diarrhea, but notes that this treatment is also in short supply due to funding constraints.
U.S. Fund For UNICEF
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New York, NY 10038