100 Days Since Haiyan:On the road to recovery for Haiyan-affected children
UNICEF Malaysia expresses gratitude to the people of Malaysia for their generous support to children and families affected by the Typhoon
KUALA LUMPUR, 16 February 2014 – One hundred days after a massive typhoon devastated the central Philippines, the long trek back to normalcy for children hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan continues.
Some 420,000 children from the worst hit areas are now back in school, in repaired, makeshift and tent schools and using learning materials from UNICEF's school-in-a-box, early childhood and recreational kits. The Back-to-School campaign led by the Government and supported by UNICEF will continue to expand, focusing on the new school year which begins in June 2014.
Typhoon Haiyan, considered one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, struck the Phillippines on 8 November 2013; affecting 14 million people, including 5.9 million children in 40 of the hardest hit municipalities. UNICEF issued a global Appeal of US$ 119 million, to help with emergency and recovery efforts and to build communities back -- better and safer. As a result of the overwhelming generosity of the people in Malaysia, the equivalent of US$ 933,173 was raised in direct donations to support the global Appeal.
“Thanks to the generous and rapid response of donors in Malaysia, and globally, UNICEF and its partners in the Philippines have been able to provide quick and crucial frontline emergency relief”, said Ms. Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia. "We know that when emergencies hit, they hurt children most. The Malaysian public, always so generous in supporting UNICEF's work here in Malaysia, responded quickly to make sure children and families struck by the typhoon were provided life-saving aid. The overwhelming response for those in need, should make Malaysians truly proud of the support they offered.”
Generous and rapid response
UNICEF also extends a special word of thanks to AirAsia, for supplying cargo space for humanitarian supplies and free flights to emergency aid workers from a range of international organisations, as soon as airports were cleared for incoming flights. In the critical first days, the support from Air Asia helped provide life-saving supplies to children from the hardest hit communities.
Contributions from donors and corporates across the world, have helped UNICEF and its partners to:
§ Provide 925,000 people with access to safe water
§ Immunise 78,000 children (6-59 months) against measles
§ Screen 97,000 children under 5 years against malnutrition
§ Serve 124,400 children in 1,244 learning spaces
§ Reach 13,576 children with psychosocial support in Child Friendly Spaces
§ Verify and report 92 unaccompanied and separated children
On the frontline
In addition to raising funds to meet the needs of children and communities in the aftermath of the disaster, a staff member from the UNICEF Malaysian country office was deployed to the Philippines immediately after Typhoon Haiyan struck, joining a global team sent to provide emergency surge support.
"Being on the frontline of an emergency like this is an intense and motivating experience," said Mr Yew Hee Cheah. "In the middle of the chaos, you become part of a 24/7 emergency machine, with one singular goal -- to save children's lives."
Mr. Yew Hee Cheah has just returned to Kuala Lumpur after three months in Tacloban, where he provided logistical support to establish a UNICEF office in Tacloban with outreach posts to other hard hit areas, in Guiuan and Roxas City as well as a logistics hub in Cebu. These offices are helping with local efforts around water and sanitation; education; child protection and nutrition.
While the humanitarian effort in the Philippines is out of the world's media headlines, the effort of building disaster-resistent communities capable of withstanding major calamities remains a UNICEF priority. UNICEF continues to work with the Government of the Philippines at national and local levels, and with humanitarian partners, to ensure children’s needs are met as part of national and local of disaster risk response and management plans.
NOTE TO EDITOR
§ Please refer to UNICEF's Haiyan Report for February for further details on actions to-date. The report is available at www.unicef.my
§ Human interest stories and photographs are available on request.
§ Mr. Yew Hee Cheah is available for interviews on request.
For further information, please contact:
Indra Kumari Nadchatram,
+6012 292 6872
+6019 658 5160