Thousands of communities throughout east Asia are under threat from disease as floods continue to ravage many countries in the region. Damage to crops and property is reportedly high and many families have been forced to evacuate. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is rushing in supplies including medical kits and water filters.
In Vietnam, thousands of families already are facing serious difficulties due to the floods. In Dong Thap province, plans are underway to relocate 11,000 families to 52 newly established flood-safe areas with 1,600 families resettled already.
In other areas, hundreds of households are living along dyke roads, relying on floodwater for their drinking, cooking, bathing and washing. Reports indicate that these resettled flood victims are already facing health threats from poor hygiene conditions and a lack of clean water.
UNICEF has placed 400 emergency medical kits containing essential medical supplies along the Mekong Delta ready for distribution. In addition, the organization is pre-positioning 7,500 household water filters in flood-prone areas.
UNICEF also has prepared 400 emergency education kits to allow children at evacuee sites to continue their primary education and has stocked 212 child day-care recreation kits in the region with another 202 kits on the way. Supporting these day-care centers is especially important during floods as they provide safe havens for young children who comprise up to 80 percent of annual flood casualties.
In total, UNICEF expects to help an estimated 860,000 flood victims.