The United Nations announced on Friday that 3.5 million children lacked drinking water in Bangladesh after recent devastating floods.
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said it urgently needs $2.5 million to finance its operations in Bangladesh. Monsoon storms in Bangladesh and India have claimed dozens of lives and caused flooding that has left millions destitute. Large areas of northeast Bangladesh were flooded last week and the military was deployed to help with evacuations.
“The situation caused by flash floods in northeast Bangladesh has deteriorated rapidly over the past week“, declared Sheldon Yett, representative of Unicef in Bangladesh, by videoconference to journalists in Geneva (Switzerland). “3.5 million children urgently need clean drinking water. It’s amazing, this represents two million more children than just a few days ago. Huge areas are completely under water and no longer have drinking water and food“.
40,000 water points damaged
“Kids need help now“, he hammered, pointing out that diseases spread very quickly when people are forced to drink contaminated water. According to Sheldon Yett, more than 40,000 water points and nearly 50,000 toilets have been damaged and cases of diarrhea and other deadly diseases continue to increase. “Nearly half a million people have been evacuated to overcrowded reception centers that are not equipped to cater for women, girls and children“, he explained.
In the flooded northeast, 90% of medical facilities around Sylhet, the regional capital, have been flooded, and more than 5,000 schools and learning centers are under water. Unicef brought supplies by truck, Sylhet airport, the third in the country, being closed until Thursday. The agency delivered 1.75 million water purification tablets, 9,000 water jerry cans and thousands of hygiene kits for women and adolescent girls.
Floods regularly threaten millions of people in Bangladesh, a country that barely rises above sea level. But these storms are becoming more frequent, violent and unpredictable with climate change, scientists say.
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