Geneva / Hong Kong, 21 September 2010 – The flooding in Pakistan is one of the largest humanitarian emergencies in decades.UNICEF today issued a report on the flooding emergency saying that, “with over 10 million children hit by the flooding, the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan is a children’s emergency and is so massive that the actual scale continues to elude the imagination of the public across the world.”
With more than 20 million people affected, the Pakistan emergency exceeds the combined number of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. At the height of the floods, approximately one-fifth of the country was underwater. The flooding has destroyed large tracts of agricultural land and crops within an already food-insecure country.
UNICEF’s humanitarian operation in Pakistan focuses on water and sanitation, nutrition, health, education and child protection. Over 6 million people were reached with a combination of safe water supplies and water treatment for families. Over half a million children under five years of age have been immunised against polio and more than 420,000 children against measles. Key nutrition supplies are reaching over 375,000 children under-five and over 50,000 pregnant and lactating women. Some 35,000 children have access to educational and recreational services and 26,000 children and women have received psycho-social support.
Although a great deal has been achieved, this emergency is far from over. The immense scale of the disaster means that a large number of children and women are yet to be reached with emergency assistance.
Recognising the serious impacts of the crisis and the continually increasing needs, UNICEF has raised its appeal to HK$ 1.97 billion for the 12 month operation from August 2010 to end of July 2011. UNICEF at present has a funding gap of HK$ 1.25 billion. The amount of money is vital to meeting the current and future needs in Pakistan.
The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF is appealing for additional donations to fund the urgent operation from new donors and the general public.