Monday, September 20, 2010

Hungry children in Pakistan floods face death

Margie Mason in the AP: More than 100,000 children left homeless by Pakistan's floods are in danger of dying because they simply do not have enough to eat, according to UNICEF. Children already weak from living on too little food in poor rural areas before the floods are fighting to stay alive, as diarrhea, respiratory diseases and malaria attack their emaciated bodies.

….The floodwaters that began swamping a section of Pakistan larger than Florida six weeks ago continue to inundate new areas, forcing even more people to flee. At least 18 million have already been affected, and nearly half of them are homeless. Many have been herded into crude, crowded camps or left to fend for themselves along roads.

But doctors warn the real catastrophe is moving much slower than the murky water. About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, UNICEF estimates. "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," says Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan. "There's just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition."

The U.N.'s World Food Program alone has fed more than 4 million people since the crisis began, distributing monthly rations that include nutrition-packed foods for children. But the sheer geographic and human scale of the disaster is overwhelming, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called it the worst he has ever seen.….

September 4, 2010, Pakistani flood victims collect relief supplies delivered by U.S. Marine helicopter

1 comment:

Beam me up Scotty said...

I remember they used to have these things called airplanes... and these other things called parachutes, and they used them in the 50s to drop food to the needy in Hungary I think.