Dhaka, June 21: Four million people, including 1.6 million children, are currently stranded by flash floods in Bangladesh and are in urgent need of help, the Unicef said.
In a statement, the UN agency said it is on the ground to protect children and to deliver emergency water and health supplies.
“Children need safe drinking water right now. Preventing deadly waterborne diseases is one of several critical concerns,” Sheldon Yett, Unicef Representative to Bangladesh, was quoted as saying.
The agency has already dispatched 400,000 water purification tablets that can support 80,000 households with clean water for a week.
It is working to further support the Bangladesh government’s emergency response with millions of water purification tablets, more than 10,000 water containers known as jerry cans, and thousands of hygiene kits for women and adolescent girls.
According to the statement, Unicef is also procuring emergency medicines supplies for district health facilities.
In Sylhet division, 90 per cent of health facilities have been inundated, while cases of waterborne diseases continue to rise.
Children are at heightened risk of drowning, already one of the major causes of child deaths in the country.
Over 36,000 children have taken refuge in overcrowded shelters together with their families. Schools have been closed, and exams cancelled, further hampering the education of children who already suffered an 18-months of pandemic school closure.
At least eight children have tragically lost their lives.
“Our heart goes out for the children whose lives have been lost. Children are the most vulnerable in this desperate situation. Unicef is working around the clock with authorities and our partners to meet the immediate needs of children,” Yett said.
The UN agency is urgently seeking $2.5 million in funding for the emergency response as it provides life-saving supplies and services to children and families.