An estimated 24 lakh children have been affected by the recent floods in India, said UNICEF in a statement on Thursday. The United Nations Children's Fund has called for immediate support, more resources and innovative programmes to address the challenges faced.
In a statement, the United Nations agency said though flooding at this period of the year is common, this widespread scale of floods during mid-July has been unusual.
"In India, over 60 lakh people across Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have been affected by the floods, including an estimated 24 lakh children."
The country has been facing twin disasters, floods that have affected almost sixty lakh people in India, and the global coronavirus pandemic, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases has nearing the 50,000 mark.
UNICEF is also working closely in association with the government of Assam to implement the set COVID-19 adapted relief camp management guidelines and Child-Friendly Spaces in select districts.
In addition, the agency has also extended support for maternal and child health services and COVID-19 response in other states.
Weeks of incessant rainfall has caused flooding and landslides in various South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. In India, lakhs of children and families are displaced due to floods depriving them of food and shelter.
According to the report, over 700 people have died and dozens are missing across the four countries, with continuing reports of children drowning. This along with the ongoing pandemic has created severe desolation.
In addition, to avoid any collective cases of coronavirus in the emergency shelters, where stranded people have been kept, UNICEF suggested the authorities to continue to follow measures such as physical distancing and handwashing.