Thar famine claims one more life


HRCP calls for urgent steps to address challenges in famine hit Thar

Thar famine continued to engulf lives of innocent children as one more child lost his life due to the dearth of food on Saturday.

According to details, the death toll of Thar victims has reached to 243. The poor victims of Thar are waiting for the relief but Sindh government is busy in storing the wheat sacks in the warehouses of Chachru, a local said.

In the meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for immediate steps in consultation with the local population to address the problems confronting famine-hit Thar, including those leading to death of children and those brought forth by a drought in the area.

The HRCP in a statement issued after conclusion of short visit of its team to Tharparkar said that it was acutely aware of the limitations of analysing the intricacies of the situation in Thar but HRCP was grateful to the women and men from various parts of famine-hit district and to civil society activists and development experts who gave them the benefit of their experience.

It also appreciated the role of the media in attracting attention to infants’ deaths in Thar which has brought into focus not only the drought but also other bigger problems of the district.

The HRCP said that high mortality among children is a long standing chronic issue which has not occurred due to starvation but on account of a persistent failure to address a number of factors, including food insecurity and malnourishment, lack of safe water and of hygiene and absence of female education and family planning. These have been aggravated by poverty, child marriages, long distances restricting access to emergency maternity and newborn health services, ineffective primary healthcare structure and an environment of a general resignation to a cruel fate.

It said that drought is a natural and recurring phenomenon really hurting Thar but it can be mitigated by advanced planning.