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UNICEF Appeals for Money to Immunize Children in Quake-hit Pakistan

Jordan's Queen Rania has launched a television appeal for the child victims of last month's South Asia earthquake that killed more than 73,000 people and left three million homeless.

As an envoy for the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, the queen says the outbreak of disease poses an immediate threat to some four million children. She says they need immunization, which costs $5 per child.

The appeal comes amid UNICEF plans to soon launch a measles vaccination drive to stop its spread in makeshift tent settlements.

Meanwhile, U.N. officials said Thursday that sickness is increasing among survivors. They said they have noticed a sharp increase in acute respiratory infection that can lead to pneumonia.

The officials said that so far there have been no deaths from exposure, but several deaths from diarrhea have been reported in a town in North West Frontier Province.

On Thursday, the commander of U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, made a visit to Muzaffarabad, the worst hit region in Pakistan. He said that the U.S. helicopters and troops diverted from Afghanistan to quake relief in Pakistan would keep up their work for months. His remarks follow warnings by the World Food Program that its deliveries may be scaled back within days unless more donations come through.