Floods leave 40,000 children homeless in Afghan province: charity



KABUL - About 40,000 children have lost their homes in north Afghanistan's Baghlan province as heavy downpours and floods lashed the province and other regions on Friday, global charity Save the Children said Monday.

"Children are scared. Many have lost everything, not only their homes but their schools and the places where they play. They have lost everything that's familiar. They have lost all routine," said Arshad Malik, country director for the charity in Afghanistan.

More than 330 were killed across the impoverished country, mostly in Baghlan and some in Takhar, Badakhshan and Ghor provinces, according to the Afghanistan office of the World Food Programme and local Afghan officials.

Global organizations and Afghan officials have warned of a rising death toll and infectious diseases, especially among children, following the floods. The World Health Organization said Monday that it had sent eight emergency response teams to the flood-affected region to monitor the risk of infections.

Afghanistan is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. It has been experiencing a rise in extreme weather conditions, including floods and drought, according to a statement released Sunday by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.