< HOME  Monday, September 20, 2010

'105,000 Kids without food in Pakistan'

The United Nations has warned that more than 100,000 children in Pakistan's flood-stricken areas are in danger of dying due to food shortages.

"About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months," said the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

More than 20 million people have been affected by the floods since July, with up to 12 million needing urgent humanitarian aid.

The flood waters, which hit northern Pakistan, are still moving to the southern provinces, causing alarming new emergencies. The floods have killed over 1,700 people.

"You're seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished, and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge," said Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan.

"There's just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition," AP quoted Boyd as saying.

On Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an urgent global response to the flood disaster which has affected millions in Pakistan.

Addressing an international ministerial meeting on Pakistan's floods, he called the devastation "the worst natural disaster the United Nations has responded to in its 65-year history."

Ban on Friday also appealed for a record $2 billion in emergency aid for the millions of victims of Pakistan's devastating floods, calling the crisis "a global test of solidarity."

According to the UN, Pakistan needs the money to buy food, set up emergency camps, rebuild its agricultural sector and reconstruct villages, which have seen their drinking water and sanitation systems wiped out.



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