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ISLAMABAD: The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday said that malnutrition among children in flood-affected areas has alarmingly increased, saying as a rapid survey conducted in 15 flood-affected districts revealed that nearly one-third of children aged 6-23 months suffer from moderate acute malnutrition and 14 percent from severe acute malnutrition.

Julien Harneis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan warned that the number of children suffering from wasting in Pakistan’s flood-affected areas had greatly increased compared to the pre-flood situation, which was already reaching emergency levels.

The UN resident coordinator in Pakistan said that the malnutrition situation among the children has reached a life-threatening level with girls being more affected than boys.

Plight of flood-hit people: alarm bells start to ring

The number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with medical complications who are admitted for hospital treatment has also gradually increased since the floods, as global food prices soar.

“Even before the floods, child wasting was already reaching emergency levels, but what I am seeing now in villages is very worrying,” Julien Harneis said.

“We are grateful for the global community’s support so far, but much more is needed to help the government of Pakistan provide the increasing numbers of children who are at risk of death with immediate therapeutic food and care. We must help the government avert a nutrition crisis which would have dangerous and irreversible consequences for millions of children, and for the future of Pakistan.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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