Fiji floods put children’s health at risk

The United Nations Children’s Fund says nutrition for children affected by the Fiji floods is a major concern.

“It felt really heart wrenching to see families, and especially young children in the evacuation centers with nothing but the clothes on their back. Some lost everything while others saved what they could. It was really sad to see these families waiting and wondering where their next food supply would come from,” says Joseph Hing – UNICEF Pacific, Senior Communications Assistant.

UNICEF Pacific representative, Dr Isiye Ndombi, said: “Providing mothers of infants with a safe space and the support to breastfeed is the simplest and best way we can protect our youngest children particularly when hygiene and water is a challenge.”

In a statement, UNICEF

  • Advised that food supplied to families in need should contain a balance of protein from fish and dhal, as well as starchy basics such as noodles, rice and biscuits.
  •  Encouraged mothers of infants to continue to exclusively breastfeed their newborn children.
  • Said, over the long term, families who have lost crops and incomes should be supported to ensure that children’s health and well-being is not compromised.

UNICEF said it was especially concerned over access to clean water for drinking and bathing.

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