Ukraine war causes pain in South Asia

Fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine. The war's ripple effects are felt not only in the region but in other countries as well, including some in South Asia.

Pakistan faces a severe gas shortage. Surging energy prices have made it difficult for the country to import liquefied natural gas. Even residential areas in the capital's center are experiencing supply halts that can last half a day. "I don't know what or how I'm going to cook. This situation makes me cry," says a woman in Islamabad.

Some people are turning to crime. A man living in northwestern Pakistan says he regularly gets gas from people who steal it from a nearby pipeline. He says some people obtaining gas have been injured when it leaked and ignited.

He said he has to keep using the stolen gas in order to survive.

Sri Lanka is facing a spike in food prices. Local people say rice costs almost doubled from last year. Soaring energy prices have driven up transportation and production costs. This has further damaged the island nation, already struggling amid an economic crisis.

Children are among those suffering the most. A girl almost lost consciousness during a morning assembly. She had not eaten since the day before.

She said, "My family can no longer get eggs, meat or fish. The whole situation has changed and bread is very expensive. We cannot eat bread like we used to."

Her school says 75 percent of its students are in the "low weight" category as defined by the World Health Organization. That number is up 30 percentage points from a year earlier.

Christian Skoog, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, said, "If things don't get back to normal quickly, it will be a significant setback for a generation to come."

UNICEF is working with Sri Lanka's government to deliver free meals to children. The UN Children's Fund is appealing to the international community for further assistance.