by UN Daily News
12 November – The United Nations today appealed for nearly a third of a billion dollars to
provide humanitarian assistance to typhoon hit regions of the Philippines where aid workers
are labouring around the clock to get in urgently needed survival supplies, such as food,
clean water, shelter and basic medicines.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos launched the $301 million flash appeal
from Manila, the capital, where she is surveying the damage by Typhoon Haiyan which
ripped through nine regions in south-east Asia over the weekend.
“The appeal of $301 million covers an initial period of six months,” said the UN Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson, Jens Laerke, in Geneva.
“The humanitarian community continues to scale up its operations to provide lifesaving aid. Many areas do remain
inaccessible, we are reaching into them little by little.”
More than 11 million people have been affected by what the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has called the
strongest tropical cyclone so far this year and one of the most intense on record.
At least 670,000 people have been displaced, the majority of them in evacuation centres, the rest in host communities or
makeshift shelters, according to OCHA.
“Water supply and power are cut. Much of the food stocks and other goods are destroyed. Many health facilities are not
functioning and medical supplies [are] quickly being exhausted,” the UN humanitarian relief arm said in its latest action
The UN World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Government to set up field hospitals, as personnel and
medical supplies are arriving in the country.
The health needs during the disaster are “significant”, the agency said, made worse by crowded living conditions and
contaminated drinking water which can lead to the spread of infectious diseases.
“With another tropical storm expected to hit the Philippines later this week, the need for safe water and sanitation facilities
is critical,” WHO said.