More than five million Pakistanis are now estimated to require humanitarian
assistance as a result of this year’s floods, and almost half of those in need
are children, United Nations aid agencies have reported .
A just completed joint assessment by the UN and Government has found that the
five million in need are mainly in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, with 25 per
cent of them women and 50 per cent children.
Almost 800,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in the floods, which began
in August, and nearly 750,000 people were still displaced at the end of October.
Gaëlle Sévenier, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), told
reporters in Geneva that the agency has so far distributed food rations to more
than 2.9 million people and requires another $70 million out of the $133 million
it originally requested to finance its operations.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that about one third of affected
villages were still under water, and a large number of water sources were also
UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said the most urgent risks to children are
those related to safe water and malnutrition, with malnutrition rates in the
affected areas already found to be high before the floods began.