SHAFAQNA(Shia International News Association)- Nearly 300 children have died in Pakistan’s southern Thar Desert so far this year, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) official says.
Taj Haider, a senior official with the PPP with responsibility for the Thar situation, said Wednesday that a total of 496 people, including 296 children, have died in 2014 across Pakistan’s Thar Desert in the southeastern district of Tharparkar.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) governs in the southern province of Sindh where part of the desert is located along the Pakistan-India border.
Abdul Jalil, a health official in Tharparkar, has also estimated that 48 children have died in the desert since the start of October.
The Thar Desert has reportedly witnessed many children suffering from diarrhea or pneumonia as a result of drought, poverty, malnutrition, poor monsoon rains, livestock diseases and poor health care.
Commenting on the figures, an unnamed UN official said, “The current situation is due to a combination of factors. Low rainfall and sheep pox exacerbated malnutrition and (there was) a lack of health care facilities.”
Last month, a report by Alif Ailaan, a local alliance for education reform, also warned that Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, with some 25 million children between 5 and 16 out of school. It also noted that around 70 percent of the out-of-school children have never attended school.