unicef, pakistan floods, malnourished children
The results of a new provincial survey show the problem is critical, with 23.1 per cent of children in the north and 21.2 per cent of children in the south of Sindh recorded as acutely malnourished. - Photo by Reuters.

ISLAMABAD: The UN children's agency said on Friday that six months on from Pakistan's devastating floods, nearly a quarter of children in the worst-hit province of Sindh remain acutely malnourished.

The results of a new provincial survey show the problem is critical, with 23.1 per cent of children in the north and 21.2 per cent of children in the south of Sindh recorded as acutely malnourished.

Unicef said the Sindh government estimates about 90,000 children aged 6-59 months are malnourished.

“This rate is well above the World Health Organization's 15 per cent emergency threshold level, which triggers a humanitarian response,” Unicef said in a statement.

“Children with severe acute malnutrition need immediate treatment,” the agency said, adding that it was working with federal and provincial government authorities to reach and treat the children.

Catastrophic monsoon rains that swept through the country in July and August affected 20 million people, destroyed 1.7 million homes and damaged 5.4 million acres of arable land.

The UN launched a $2 billion flood relief appeal in September but still requires nearly half that amount, in particular to help farmers return to work after the waters devastated fields.

The UN said about seven million people are still living on monthly food rations.

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