25,000 children affected by floods in Afghanistan

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About 25,000 children affected in flood-hit northern Afghanistan;Save the Children responds with life-saving supplies

Sunday, 27 April 2014 - 4:51pm About 25,000 children have been affected and in need of urgent assistance in the aftermath of flash floods triggered by heavy rain and melting snow in the mountainous area of northern Afghanistan, Save the Children says. Aid agencies spent the weekend working against the clock to save thousands of children and families who are without homes, food and drinking water.

At least 40,000 people have been affected after a large body of water swept through the area during the night of 24th to 25th of April 2014. So far, 123 people have been killed, and dozens more missing, in day three of the search and rescue efforts. As assessments continue the number is expected to rise.

Save the Children was on the ground from the very first morning, activating relief supplies in warehouses and distributing blankets, water and fresh bread to the worst-affected in Faryab, Sar I Pul, and Jawzjan provinces. So far, the children’s aid agency has reached over 5,000 people with water, bread, hygiene and household items, as well as tarpaulins.

“It was fortunate that our warehouses were so close to the worst-affected areas, so that we were able to respond as quickly as we have to assist the worst-affected children and their families,” said Onno van Manen, Program Director for Save the Children in Afghanistan. “But more help is needed. At least 1,000 houses have been completely destroyed, which means many children are without a roof over their heads, hot food from their homes and a blanket to make them feel safe them at night.”

“Save the Children is now working round the clock to distribute hygiene and household items, tarpaulin for shelter, blankets, and fresh drinking water to children and their families in Faryab, Sar I Pul and Jawzjan provinces. In the coming weeks, we will aim set up temporary learning spaces while schools are being rehabilitated, as well as safe areas for children to play, learn and talk through their experiences. Our focus is ensuring that all children feel the safe, protected and regain a sense of normalcy.”

Save the Children has been working in Afghanistan since 1976, responding to all major disasters in that time. The children’s aid agency aims to reach over 14,000 people, including 8,400 children in its response.