The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that an estimated 16 million children are in urgent need of life-saving support in the wake of torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
Since mid-August, there have been at least 1,288 reported deaths, with over 45 million people estimated to be affected.
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 centers for children.
“Massive damage to school infrastructure and supplies also mean hundreds of thousands of children may miss weeks or months of school,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia. “Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down.”
In Bangladesh alone, more than 3 million people have been affected by flooding. An estimated 696,169 houses have been damaged or destroyed and 2,292 primary and community schools have been damaged by high water.