THE worst floods in 70 years in north-west Pakistan have left almost a million affected – among them hundreds of thousands of children.

Critical water and sanitation facilities have been damaged, raising the possibility of outbreaks of disease if not dealt with quickly.

Roads, bridges, schools and homes have been damaged or destroyed.

An important humanitarian hub and warehouse complex in Pirpai has been flooded and all perishable items are feared damaged. Unicef has personnel on the ground and is responding to the immediate needs of children and their families by sourcing relief supplies from outside the affected region.

We are working with the authorities and partners to provide emergency shelter and clean drinking water to 20,000 families. We have set up nine medical camps and are providing medicines, water treatment tablets and jerry cans.

The situation is critical and Unicef needs readers of The Northern Echo to help fund our rescue effort for women and children affected in this disaster.

Please help us to make a massive difference to these children and families. Donations can be made by calling 0800 316 5353 or by logging on to Even in emergencies, children have the right to proper health, clean water and sanitation.

David Bull, Executive Director, Unicef UK, London.