16m children affected by floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh: Unicef

Published: September 03, 2017 15:51:13 | Updated: October 24, 2017 07:49:18


 

About 16 million children across India, Bangladesh and Nepal are in urgent need of life-saving support due to “catastrophic” flooding in the three South Asian countries, a UN agency said.

“Millions of children have seen their lives swept away by these devastating floods” said Jean Gough, Unicef Regional Director for South Asia, reports http://www.hindustantimes.com/.

“Children have lost their homes, schools and even friends and loved ones. There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south” she added.

Weeks of torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh have devastated the lives of millions of children and families. Unicef estimates that almost 16 million children and their families are in urgent need of life-saving support. Since mid-August, there have been at least 1,288 reported deaths.

Many areas remain inaccessible due to damage to roads, bridges, railways and airports. The most urgent needs for children are clean water, hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of disease, food supplies and safe places in evacuation centres for children to play, the UN agency said.

Unicef is on the ground working in close coordination with respective governments and humanitarian partners from three countries to scale up its responses and respond to immediate needs of affected children and their families.

“Massive damage to school infrastructure and supplies also mean hundreds of thousands of children may miss weeks or months of school” said Gough.

“Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down.”

In India, four states in the northern part of the country have been extensively affected by the flooding, affecting over 31 million people including 12.33 million children. Some 805,183 houses are either partially or fully damaged and 15,455 schools have been damaged, disrupting the education of nearly one million students.

Further heavy rains in Mumbai resulted in at least five deaths by drowning and three people including two children died due to house collapse.

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