Pakistan Floods Update: Cholera Breaks Out Water Borne Diseases
Pakistan Flood Update, Monday August 16th: 3.5 Million Children At Risk, Video
Weeks after the worst flooding in Pakistan's history the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan is only getting worse. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Sunday it is the worst natural disaster he has ever seen.
Chlorea and other water borne diseases are breaking out, so to is dysentery potentially impacting the 20 million left homeless, 3.5 million of those children.
Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told the AFP news agency: "Up to 3.5 million children are at high risk of deadly waterborne diseases, such as watery diarrhoea and dysentery. Water during the flood has been contaminated badly. There is a shortage of clean water."
Delays in aid delivery and the continuing threat of further floods have resulted in widespread public anger that could bring political trouble for an unpopular government overwhelmed by the disaster, which has disrupted the lives of at least one-tenth of Pakistan's 170 million people.
Meanwhile, there is growing fear that the natural disaster unfolding in Pakistan is playing into the hands of extremists who are taking advantage of an unstable country and weak government .
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the BBC that he feared the growing desperation of flood victims could play into the hands of extremists.
But he said troops fighting insurgents in the north had not been redeployed to help the relief effort.
"We have moved additional troops to southern parts of Punjab and the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. We are not going to permit militants to take advantage of this situation," he said.
In southern Pakistan, angry flood survivors blocked a main road in Sindh province to protest against the slow delivery of aid and demanded more action from the authorities.