|Humanitarian and Advocacy Information
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|August 20, 2010|
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, on the flooding in
GENEVA/NEW YORK/ISLAMABAD, 20 August 2010-"Mothers fleeing flooded homes
with nothing but their babies clinging to their backs; people waving for
help from the top of stranded buses as the waters rise around them;
desperately thirsty children drinking from contaminated water sources. The
humanitarian tragedy in Pakistan has reached tragic proportions. But
serious shortfalls in funding are limiting our ability to save lives as the
"The scale of the disaster in Pakistan caused by heavy monsoon rains and
floods is massive. One-fifth of the country is now underwater, and entire
villages have been swept away. Some 900,000 dwellings have been damaged or
destroyed. 15.4 million people have been affected by the floods.
"The consequences of the flooding for Pakistan's poorest and most vulnerable
people are very serious. And the most vulnerable of all, the children, are
at the greatest risk. Unless the world responds immediately, more and more
of the 3.5 million children affected by the floods will be at risk of
contracting deadly water-borne diseases like dysentery, diarrhea and
"Together with our partners, UNICEF is currently supplying clean water to
some 1.5 million people every day, and re-uniting separated children with
their families. We are working with WHO to ward off serious health threats
by vaccinating thousands of children in receiving centres and camps, and we
are working alongside WFP to distribute supplementary high energy food to
children under five.
"But these efforts are insufficient to meet even the current needs of
millions of displaced families. With floodwaters rising, evacuations
continuing and more rains expected, the potential for even greater tragedy
grows by the minute.
"The need for greatly increased support could not be more urgent. Once the
most pressing needs are met, significant and sustained support will help to
rebuild schools, restore infrastructure and re-establish child protection
measures. But first, we must save lives.
"UNICEF urges the global donor community to help us protect the children of
Pakistan and to ensure that the floods which have destroyed their homes do
not also destroy their futures."