DHAKA, 20 June 2022 – Four million people, including 1.6 million children, stranded by flash floods in north-eastern Bangladesh are in urgent need of help. UNICEF 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,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh
UNICEF has already dispatched 400,000 water purification tablets that can support 80,000 households with clean water for a week. UNICEF is working to further support the Government of Bangladesh’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. 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 eighteen-month school closure due to the pandemic.
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,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.
UNICEF is urgently seeking $2.5 million in funding for the emergency response as it provides life-saving supplies and services to children and families.