ISLAMABAD (APP) - UNICEF in Pakistan urgently needs US $ 4.5 million to provide safe drinking water and live-saving health and nutrition interventions to the most vulnerable displaced children. The childrens agency is facing a severe lack of funding, which may result in thousands of children and women displaced by the crisis in FATA and NWFP being deprived of essential services, a news release issued here Monday said. UNICEF has received a third of the US$58 million it requested as part of a joint humanitarian appeal to provide vital support to people displaced form FATA and NWFP into camps and host communities, as well as those returning to Swat and other pacified areas. As a result, 6,000 malnourished children recently displaced for Orakzai and Kurram Agencies in FATA could be left without nutritional support if UNICEF does not quickly received the US $ 1 million needed to assist them. They include 1,000 children who are severely malnourished, and at risk of death without immediate assistance. If US $3 million are not received by early June, critical water services in crowded IDP camps may be at risk from July, exposing about 125,000 people including 106,000 in Jalozai Camp alone, to potentially deadly diseases such as diarrhoea during the hot summer months. Health services are also dramatically under funded: UNICEF urgently required US $500,000 to ensure that 42,000 children and 12,000 mothers living in Upper Swat have immunisation and other vital health services. Children and women are invariably the most vulnerable members of the community during a crisis like this one, said the UNICEF acting Deputy Representative Dr Pirkko Heinonen. Coming as they do from historically disadvantaged areas, they need our timely support to ensure that they can come through this crisis safely, in good health and with good prospects for their future. Eight Pakistani children die of diarrhoea every hour: amongst IDPs, living in crowded and unsanitary conditions, this rate may soar if clean drinking is not available as the hot summer takes hold. Lack of services has an especially strong impact on women and children. In a recent survey, half of women IDPs and a third of children reported illness during the past two weeks, compared to only a quarter of men. Thanks to support from the international community last year, we were able to help IDPs weather months of displacement, said Dr Heinonen. UNICEF is committed to help rebuild services for children as they return home, and to support newly displaced from FATA. With sustained support from our partners in Pakistan and abroad, we hope to be there for these new IDPs as they are displaced, return home, and build back their lives.