THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Are we just going to watch?

Millions of people, many of them children, need help urgently. And here we are, having a headache deciding what to cook/buy for buka puasa and sahur when there are millions in Pakistan needing help NOW! Are we just going to watch?

Below is the latest press release from UNICEF. For more info, including video report, and how to donate, go to UNICEF Malaysia website.

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UNICEF's life-saving operation in jeopardy due to funding shortfall

NEWS RELEASE
Floods in Pakistan
Children at risk of deadly water-borne diseases
Floods have hit "the poorest of the poor"

ISLAMABAD/KUALA LUMPUR, 17 August 2010 - Serious funding shortfalls, warned the UN children's agency, are jeopardising its humanitarian operation in Pakistan, as the worst natural disaster in living memory continues to unfold in the country.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is extremely concerned at the lack of funds for its water and sanitation operation, with millions of children at risk from water-borne diseases.

"Providing clean water and adequate sanitation is key to the survival of millions of flood affected people in Pakistan. In terms of numbers of people needing life-saving assistance, this emergency is bigger than the Tsunami, Haiti, and the last Pakistan earthquake put together,” said UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Martin Mogwanja.

Poorest of the poor hardest hit

UNICEF is currently providing enough clean water for 1.3 million people every day, but millions more need the same services.

The Government of Pakistan estimates 20 million people overall have been hit by the flood crises, and according to the United Nations, at least 15 million people have been seriously affected, half of whom are children.

UNICEF is concerned that the floods have hit "the poorest of the poor", those least able to survive the present harsh conditions.

Millions in need of aid

The top concerns are water-borne diseases, acute respiratory infections, skin diseases and malnutrition rates, already dangerously high in many flood-affected regions of Pakistan.

Polio is endemic and measles still a threat, cautioned UNICEF, which, together with WHO and Government, is carrying out polio and measles vaccinations at relief centres. UNICEF is also supplying oral rehydration solution, a home based treatment for diarrheoa, but notes that this treatment is also in short supply due to funding constraints.

"We urgently need to scale up the distribution of water. If we are not able to do so because of lack of funding, water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrheoa and dysentery will spread and begin killing affected populations, especially children, already weak and vulnerable to disease and malnutrition," added Mr. Mogwanja.

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2 comments:

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
InshaAllah...Mama's organisation is doing something about it. purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

Yayyy! But oh, that's not enough actually. More people must help, especially the fundings. The situation there is critical it seems.