UNICEF on Monday delivered 32 metric tons of life-saving medical and other emergency supplies to support children and women affected by devastating floods across Pakistan.
The shipment arrived in Karachi from UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen, said a press release.
The shipment includes medicines, medical supplies, water purifying tablets, safe delivery kits, therapeutic nutritional supplements.
UNICEF handed over the supplies to the Government of Pakistan, represented by Sindh Province’s Ministry of Health and Population Welfare.
The supplies will be immediately dispatched to children and families who need them the most in some of the 72 hardest-hit districts.
“The floods have left children and families out in the open with no access to the basic necessities of life,” said Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “This shipment is critical and life-saving, but only a drop in the ocean of what is required. The risk of an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dengue, and malaria, keeps increasing every day as people are forced to drink contaminated water and practice open defecation. The dangers of mosquitoes, snakebites, skin and respiratory diseases are also increasing. We need urgent support to help children grappling for survival.”
A second shipment of 34 metric tons of humanitarian supplies is expected to arrive on Tuesday, carrying medicines to treat parasitic infections, resuscitation and sterilization kits, micronutrients for pregnant women, educational supplies, and recreational kits to help children cope with trauma.
Heavy monsoon rains have left one-third of the country under water, affecting more than 33 million people. Half of them are children, including at least 3.4 million who are in need of immediate, lifesaving support.
Relief and rescue operations are still extremely hard to carry-out – many roads remain cut off by floodwater. At least 5,000 kilometres (3,200 miles) of roads and around 160 bridges have been destroyed or damaged.
Using pre-positioned emergency supplies, UNICEF has delivered immediate emergency services and supplies worth over US$ 2 million over the past week. These included drinking water, water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, vaccines, therapeutic nutritional supplements for children, pregnant and lactating women, and mosquito nets.
As part of the UN flash appeal of US$160 million to support the national flood response, UNICEF is appealing for US$37 million to reach children and families in need of life-saving support.