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UNICEF renews Pakistan flood appeal as 10 more die

ISLAMABAD — Devastating floods in Pakistan’s worst-hit province have killed 10 more people in the past day, including four children, officials said on Wednesday as the UN children’s agency renewed its appeal for 39 million dollars to help the most vulnerable flood victims.

Only a third of the appeal sum has been reached so far, UNICEF said in a statement. Pakistani doctors and medical staff are struggling to contain the outbreak of waterborne diseases, malaria and dengue fever among hundreds of thousands of survivors now living in tents in the southern province of Sindh.

Unprecedented monsoon rains and flooding, which many experts attribute to climate change, have affected 33 million people and killed up to 1,569 across the country since mid-June.

Of that number, 701 people – including 293 children and 131 women – died in Sindh, where many areas remain submerged. Hollywood actress and UN 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 were uprooted from their homes and floodwaters claimed the lives of more than 550 children across Pakistan.

“Without a significant increase in aid, we fear that many more children will lose their lives,” UNICEF said in a statement.

In Sindh, many roads and bridges have been washed away or severely damaged, and thousands of families remain isolated and in desperate need of assistance. “Families have no food, clean water or medicine,” the agency said.

UNICEF has set up 71 mobile health camps and temporary schools for children in flood-affected areas. But its $39 million appeal is still less than a third funded, UNICEF added. This sum is part of the UN’s flash appeal for $160 million to support the flood response in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistani 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 fight the record floods.

In a televised message from New York, Sharif on Wednesday urged philanthropists to urgently and generously donate baby food to flood-affected children. “God will reward you for this noble work,” he said.

Pakistan’s infrastructure and agriculture have also been decimated, raising fears of an impending food crisis. Authorities say the flood damage is at least $30 billion.


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