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UNICEF appeals for $34 million for the children of the Philippines, as Yolanda crisis deepens

© UNICEF Philippines/2013/JMaitem
A mother and her newborn take shelter inside in a church along with other families in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines after super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda pummelled the country on Nov. 8, 2013 affecting over 11 million people.

MANILA/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 12 November 2013 – UNICEF is appealing for $34 million to aid the four million children of the Philippines who survived Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
 
The appeal is a first estimate of the requirements needed to help children and their families recover, and is expected to cover 6 months.   It is especially pressing because many of the regions slammed by Typhoon Haiyan are reportedly without electricity, clean water, food and medicine.
 
“With every day that goes by, thousands of children are becoming weaker, and more vulnerable to disease,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF representative in the Philippines. “The collapse of water and sanitation systems, destructions of homes and school all are putting children at huge risk and in need of urgent help.”
 
Some supplies have already been delivered, including portable toilets to Tacloban. A truck hauling hygiene supplies (soap detergent, and personal hygiene items), education materials, and recreational materials is also making its way to that that area.
 
Priority areas that UNICEF has identified are:
 
Water, Hygiene and Sanitation – WASH services have been nearly completely wiped out.  Safe water is essential to protect children from diseases that, when coupled with malnutrition, can be deadly. Electricity is down and expected to be out for some time in affected areas, and pipelines have been flooded.  
 
Nutrition – An estimated 100,000 very young children (between the ages of 0 to 59 months) and 60,000 pregnant or lactating women were displaced by Haiyan.   Interruptions in maternal and child feeding routines like breastfeeding, combined with serious damage to water and sanitation systems have put younger children at serious risk of malnutrition, especially in high-poverty areas where 2,000 families were already struggling to survive.  
 
Education – An estimated 2.8 million preschool and school aged children may have been driven from their homes. In the hardest hit area of Region 8: Eastern Visayas, more than 3,000 schools and 2,400 day care centres appear to be affected.
 
Child protection –  Destruction of homes and schools during disasters, and the resulting mass displacement of communities and families has  severely disrupted support systems that would normally protect children from abuse and exploitation. 
 
Health - Approximately 255,000 pregnant and lactating women were affected by the disaster.  About 15,000 births are expected in the first month. There is a high risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality as many health facilities and birthing clinics are destroyed or damaged. 
 
UNICEF response:
UNICEF Philippines is currently moving 10,000 packs of water purification tablets, 3,000 hygiene kits and two water treatment units.
 
UNICEF Copenhagen is sending over 20 generators strong enough to power up water treatment plants.  Over 1,200 water quality testing kits are also being sent, as well as collapsible water bladders.  UNICEF is purchasing 10,000 water kits and 10,500 family water kits locally, as well as water tablets for 6.3 million litres of water safe to drink.  
 
The population in some areas may engage in open defecation, which presents deadly risks as and water sources and waterways become contaminated with bacteria.  UNICEF hygiene specialists will provide technical advice on appropriate alternatives to toilets, and, safe solid and liquid waste disposal, and water surveillance in order to offset the advance of disease outbreaks.  UNICEF will also assist in promoting menstrual hygiene management and gender separate facilities at learning centres and spaces. 
                                          
The agency is also setting up therapeutic feeding centres to treat severe acute malnutrition of children.  Ready to use therapeutic food (peanut paste) and 1.35 million sachets of micronutrient powder are also en route.
 

UNICEF is seeking funding to establish safe learning spaces so that children can get back to learning and parents can be reassured that their children are safe during the day. UNICEF will ensure an integrated and sustained response by enhancing the capacity of day care workers, teachers and supervisors in conducting education in emergencies sessions with psychosocial care sessions and engaging the children and education service providers in disaster risk reduction activities. To help the Government of the Philippines rebuild the nation’s education system, UNICEF will help strengthen information management and monitoring. UNICEF has delivered 1,860 tarpaulins - reinforced plastic sheeting – and 72 tents which may be used for school and safe spaces.
 
UNICEF is working with local authorities to identify and register children who may be separated from their families in displacement. UNICEF and partners are also working with partners to provide child friendly spaces. UNICEF will use funding to support strengthening national, regional, and local government bodies, including local and barangay councils for the welfare of children, noting that these institutions have been weakened during the last emergencies. 
 
UNICEF is rushing 30 emergency health kits, each one good for a population of 1,000 for three months to the country. “Safe Delivery” kits will also go out, each one will assist in the delivery of 50 new borns. UNICEF is sending folic acid and antibiotics for adults and children. The agency will support measles mass immunization campaigns and Vitamin A provision. UNICEF is working closely with local authorities to ensure that health clinics can “built back better.”
 
 
UNICEF resources were severely stretched even before the typhoon hit. UNICEF staff in the Philippines – 90 people strong – were already responding to the Bohol earthquake of 15 October that affected 3.2 million people. Before Typhoon Haiyan hit, UNICEF’s 2013 appeal, for just under $30 million, was only 13 per cent funded. This additional appeal of $34.2 million brings our total funding need to $63.5 million. 
 
 
Poverty is rife in some of the areas where Haiyan visited.  In Region VIII, home to an estimated 1.7 million children, the incidence of poverty is as high as 59.4 per cent of the population. And the dropout rate for primary school is 58 per cent.  A higher proportion of children aged 5 to 15 years old are involved in child labor than the national average.
 
 
For all multi-media products, including b-roll and photo, please visit:  http://weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources
 
About UNICEF
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org/philippines
 

For further information, please contact:
 

Zafrin Chowdhury, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 77, Mobile: +63 917 867 8366, zafrinchowdhury@gmail.com
Chris de Bono, Regional Adviser, in UNICEF Manila, +63 929 768 2367, cdebono@unicef.org
Marge Francia, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 73, Mobile: +62 917 858 9447, mfrancia@unicef.org
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva, Mobile: +41 79 756 7703, mmercado@unicef.org
Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212 326 7452, Mobile: +1 917 378 2128, kdonovan@unicef.org
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF New York, Mobile: + 1 646 209 1590, scrowe@unicef.org
Kent Page, UNICEF Philippines, kpage@unicef.org

 

 
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