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It’s been a month since the flooding began in Pakistan. However, nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five still have not been reached with critical, life-saving assistance.
Sonia Khush, director of emergency preparedness and response at “Save the Children NOW” in Islamabad worked the Asian tsunami disaster a few years back, but she says the flooding in Pakistan is quite different.
“The tsunami was a massive event, the earthquake and then the resulting wave, but then it was over, and so it was easy to get a clear picture of what happened, but this has been more of an unfolding slow crisis,” said Khush.
And she says the threats are still very much present. Children are especially vulnerable to water-borne illnesses and are more susceptible to malnutrition. Fortunately, Save the Children NOW has been in Pakistan for the last 30 years, so they already had some resources on the ground, but Khush says a big part of their problem has been accessibility.
“The water has not receded yet, and in some places there are still four to eight feet of water, so communities are still stranded and marooned,” said Khush.
Along with more helicopters, all of the aid groups in Pakistan are going to have to grow their programs. KHUSH expects aid will be needed for months to come.