|© Philippines Daily Inquirer|
|Staff of UNICEF loading food and medical supplies onto a flight to Camarines Norte province|
“UNICEF responded to the emergency relief request right after the first typhoon hit the Philippines,” says UNICEF Philippines Senior Programme Officer Colin Davis. “We spent almost $100,000 making Family Packs. Each pack consists of children’s clothing, mosquito nets, food, and water purification tablets.”
The disaster has resulted in over 1,000 people dead, 700 people missing, and more than 12,000 homes destroyed. Many of the survivors were forced to flee their homes and are now crowded into evacuation centres.
“In addition, with the help of a small local airline company, we were able to fly into Camarines Norte with 4,000 tins of sardines, 5,000 packs of noodles, and medicines this past Sunday to assist people living in the evacuation centres,” Mr. Davis added.
The United Nations assessment team has reported that the need for water and sanitation facilities is urgent in order to avoid the outbreak of disease, particularly cholera and typhoid.
Over 650 day care centres and 430 schools have also been damaged, affecting over 140,000 pre-school and primary school students. Getting these children back to school as soon as possible is one of UNICEF’s top priorities.
UNICEF has appealed for $800,000 in order to provide further relief and long-term rehabilitation programmes for the children of the Philippines.
Philippines Emergency Appeal, 8 December 2004 [PDF]
Relief agencies struggle to meet basic needs after storms