Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Malnourished Pakistani flood children face winter peril

by Staff Writers
Hyderabad, Pakistan (AFP) Oct 14, 2010
As winter approaches on Pakistan's flooded southern plains, thousands of malnourished children are living in dirty, spartan tents without prospect of a home, officials and UN workers say.

Doctors treating thin and bedraggled youngsters say a lack of nutritious food and clean water are threatening lives among the 250,000 children still in relief camps nearly three months after the catastrophic floods began.

With much of southern Sindh province still under water and many temporary camps in schools closing to allow classes to resume, the future for children of the flood is worrying, they say.

"These children are facing serious threats to their lives. Malnutrition is posing a huge threat and could cause a greater disaster," said Mohammad Ashraf, a nutritionist from Hyderabad volunteering in the relief camps.

The UN children's agency, UNICEF, said aid agencies and state authorities have been targeting more than 75,500 severely malnourished children who are 10 times more likely to die because of lack of decent food.

Another 180,000 moderately malnourished children are in need, they said, aggravating an already dire situation for Pakistan's impoverished families.

"The floods have aggravated malnutrition among children who were already suffering and have spectacularly exposed the situation before the world," said Kaleem Shaikh, head of charity, the Peoples Development Foundation.

In the last mass nutrition survey conducted in 2002, Pakistan health authorities said that about 40 percent of children under the age of five were underweight and stunted.

Three-week-old twins Bilawal and Bakhtawar -- named after the children of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto -- looked pale and gaunt as their mother sat in a tent to nurse them in Karachi's western suburbs.

"They are ill. Their bodies are shrinking but nobody is here to take care of us," said their mother Nazeeran Bibi, 38.

"They depend on my breastfeeding but how can I feed them? I don't have any proper food to eat," she said, holding them wrapped tightly in cloth to keep them away from the sun's scorching rays.

UN figures show that nearly three million children under the age of five were affected by the floods, which began at the end of July, and a rough UNICEF estimate shows 250,000 are still critically affected by a lack of food.

As the season cools and winter rains arrive, UN officials at the World Food Programme said that stockpiling food is an urgent issue.

"Rapid assessments of nutritional status and clinical observations strongly suggest that rates of acute malnutrition are rising," said WFP spokeswoman Jackie Dent.

But she said donations to UN funding appeals had been desperately slow and threatened the emergency operations.

"Sadly, we are getting low on funds and by November we have a pipeline break for several commodities," said Dent, adding that more than 80 million dollars were needed for provisions in November and December alone.

Shama Khoso, 28, fled her home with her peasant husband and four children a month ago when their house in the town of Garhi Khero in northern Sindh was completely submerged by torrential waters.

She said all her children have fallen ill after the family were forced to move between relief camps to find shelter, with food still scarce at the field camp in Hyderabad where the family now resides.

Her youngest daughter, 15-month-old Samina, has been staying in the hospital for a month but shows no sign of improvement, Khoso said.

"We often get food just once a day, sometimes twice. My children eat rice whenever it is distributed but they don't get any milk," she said.

Doctors say a combination of malnutrition and dirty drinking water have caused skin problems, diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory problems for children, particularly those under the age of five.

UNICEF's Sindh head Andro Shilakadze said the agency is busy planning for winter with the arrival of blankets and the building of new temporary camps to house those being evicted from camps based in schools.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Pakistan flood damage 9.7 billion dollars: World Bank, ADB
Brussels (AFP) Oct 14, 2010
The floods that swept Pakistan since July caused about 9.7 billion dollars in damage, almost double the amount caused by a 2005 earthquake, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank said Thursday. The estimate was released by the two banks ahead of a key meeting in Brussels on Friday aimed at reviewing Pakistan's relief and recovery efforts. The Friends of Democratic Pakistan meeting gat ... read more

Malnourished Pakistani flood children face winter peril

Pakistan flood damage 9.7 billion dollars: World Bank, ADB

Tough tasks ahead after 33 miners' rescue

China web users slam nation's mine safety amid Chile rescue

Polymer Behaviors Below The 1 Nanometer Level

Examining How Materials Bond At The Atomic Level

TanDEM-X Leader Has A Connection With Antennas

Breakthrough Promises Bright Fast Displays At Low Power

US lifts Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling ban

Australia Must Have Better Plan For A Variable Water Future

Alarming Increase In Flow Of Water Into Oceans

Asia facing worsening water crisis: ADB

Crew circles North Pole in one summer

Himalayan climate change action urged

Disappearing Glaciers Enhanced Biodiversity

Argentine Congress votes to restrict mining near glaciers

States rip apart EU bid to fix GM crops mess

U.N. hails eradication of a cattle disease

Uruguay, S. Arabia plan for food security

New Fish Feeds Made From Fish Byproducts

Cuba on storm alert as Hurricane Paula approaches

Man-made causes cited for Pakistan floods

Hot meals draw pupils back to Haiti's quake hit schools

Hurricane Paula heads for Mexican tourist coast

Niger's number two junta leader arrested: military

African leaders urged to tackle climate change at forum

Clooney seek diplomatic action in Sudan

Nigerian clamps down on MEND militants

'Missing link' fossil debated by science

Research Suggests Volcanoes Nixed Neanderthals

Study finds brain changes during sleep

Canadian helps severely disabled speak through music

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement