1.3m children in Bangladesh likely to be affected by flooding: Unicef | The Daily Star
04:14 PM, July 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:29 PM, July 24, 2020

1.3m children in Bangladesh likely to be affected by flooding: Unicef

More than 2.4 million people are estimated to be affected by flooding, including around 1.3 million children in Bangladesh, Unicef said.  

More than half a million (548,816) families have lost their homes, said the UN agency yesterday.  

Flooding has come at a time when Bangladesh is still recovering from Cyclone Amphan, and its already stretched emergency and health response systems are working hard to contain the spread of the Covid-19. 

The country now has over 210,000 confirmed cases.   

Unicef said it is working closely with government partners, who are leading the flood response, and NGOs to provide urgently needed water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to children and communities in need. 

Unicef is also "actively engaged" in supporting a comprehensive outbreak response across the country.  

Weeks of torrential monsoon rains, widespread flooding and deadly landslide in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have affected millions of children and families, the agency said.   

Over four million children are currently estimated to be affected and in urgent need of life-saving support, with many millions more at risk.  

"Even for a region that is all-too-familiar with the devastating impact of extreme weather, the recent heavy monsoon rains, rising floods and continued landslides are creating a perfect storm for children and families affected," said Jean Gough, Unicef Regional Director for South Asia.  

"The Covid-19 pandemic and containment and prevention measures add an additional complication to the mix, as Covid-19 cases are accelerating in some of the affected areas," she added. 

Over 700 people have died and dozens are missing across the four countries, with continuing reports of children drowning. 

Many areas remain inaccessible due to damage to roads, bridges, railways and airports. 

The most urgent needs for children are clean water, hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of disease, food supplies and safe places in evacuation centres for children to play. 

"The fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic is being compounded by climate change and extreme weather events and are arguably the biggest issues affecting children in South Asia right now," said Jean Gough. 

"Immediate support, more resources and innovative programmes are urgently needed to address the challenges that these threats represent to the region's children," she said.

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