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Asia

Pakistan floods affect over three million says UNICEF

Officials have warned of a public health disaster in the northwest as victims say they have been abandoned. Troops and relief workers say it is extremely difficult to access the flood-hit areas.

Over a million children are affected by the floods

Over a million children are affected by the floods

New flood warnings were issued on Tuesday as rising water levels threatened to overpower the country's third-biggest dam, the Warsak Dam. Officials asked residents in the northern suburbs of Peshawar to leave their homes in anticipation.

So far, at least 1,400 people have been killed by the worst floods to hit the country in living memory.

Officials fear the death toll could rise to over 1,500 and there is growing concern that waterborne diseases such as cholera could break out among the three million people affected by the floods.

People try to salvage as much as possible

People try to salvage as much as possible

1.4 million children under 18 affected

Aid workers have said that clean drinking water, food, medical supplies and sanitation are urgently needed if the spread of disease is to be prevented. Many children are already suffering from illnesses such as gastroenteritis.

According to United Nations figures, almost a million people have lost their homes or are displaced.

UNICEF, the UN's children agency, said 1.3 of 3.2 million affected people in total were severely affected. 1.4 million children under the age of 18 are among the victims.

Victims complain there is not enough aid

The regional authorities have warned it could take days to find out exactly how many people have died and are displaced.

Victims have complained of a lack of drinking water

Victims have complained of a lack of drinking water

The international community has pledged millions in aid. US officials said they had sent helicopters to help rescue people from flood-hit areas.

However, the victims of the floods say that they have not seen the aid and say that the government has been ineffective. They have complained that there are no proper toilets or bathrooms in the relief camps. There is a lack of electricity and of clean drinking water. The stifling heat and swarms of mosquitoes are not helping matters.

More torrential rain is forecast in the coming weeks across the region.

act/AP/AFP
Editor: Thomas Baerthlein

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