UNICEF Response to Typhoon Pablo Factsheet
CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN
Typhoon Pablo was one of the most destructive typhoons to hit the Philippines with estimated damages totalling $964million . Around 6.2 million people are affected,
2.6 million-affected children.
The Most Affected Provinces & Municipalities
1. Davao Oriental (east coast): Baganga, Cateel, & Boston
2. Compostela Valley (central): New Bataan, Monkayo, Maragusan, & Compostela
3. Agusan del Sur (north): Sta. Josef, & Loreto
4. Surigao de Sur (northeast): Lingog
UNICEF is concerned about the looming silent threats of diarrhea, malnutrition, and the exploitation of vulnerable children. Malnutrition levels prior to the typhoon were already at worrying levels. Trafficking is also a risk in the most affected areas.Clean water is in short supply because water systems have been destroyed, damaged or contaminated. UNICEF is providing water and hygiene kits to ensure families have clean, safe water and equipment for washing - protecting children from diarrhea and disease.
UNICEF is working closely with government and cluster partners across the most affected provinces; this aims to ensure all organizations are coordinating their efforts to maximize the coverage of the delivery of aid. UNICEF co-leads the following clusters with government: Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection.
Health & Nutrition
The nutritional status of children in some affected areas was of concern pre-Pablo, with rates of acute malnutrition above national averages. Without action, malnutrition will rise - risking child survival. Birthing attendants and facilities are in short supply, as are implements for safe hygienic food preparation. Diarrhoea is a growing concern and cluster partners are monitoring the situation closely.
• Conduct screening and detection of acute malnutrition with local health staff
• Establishing Infant and Young Child Feeding with women's groups and community counselors
• Establishing community-based therapeutic feeding centers for girls and boys with acute malnutrition
• Provision of Ready-to-use Therapeutic food to Department of Health (DOH)
• Advocating a halt to donated powdered milk products in the food rations
Water & Sanitation
There is extensive damage to housing, schools and vital infrastructure e.g., water supply pipelines. Water and sanitation facilities are damaged, destroyed or contaminated. Infrastructure may take weeks to repair - placing people at risk of disease and death. Many evacuation sites do not have safe water supply and sanitation facilities. People are suffering major water shortages, impacting heavily on vulnerable groups such as children. Local government capacity is hampered with staff and buildings affected.
• Tanker safe drinking water to evacuation centres, distribution of water/hygiene kits. Rehabilitate /construct water points when appropriate
• Construction/rehabilitation of child friendly, gender-segregated, secure sanitation facilities
• Hygiene promotion sessions in communities and schools and distribution of hygiene and water kits
• Coordination of the management of solid and liquid waste, especially collection and disposal.
• Ensure there are available water and sanitation services for affected schools and temporary learning centres
Children are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, neglect and violence; disasters increase these risks. Girls are particularly vulnerable if they now live with male adults or strangers, with little privacy in sleeping or sanitation. Mindanao is fruitful ground for traffickers. Lost livelihoods means children may try to find work - exposing them to traffickers.
• Establish Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) as a mechanism for psychosocial support in communities
• Psychosocial activity sessions in CFS for multiple age groups, with particular attention to gender- specific support including for children with disabilities
• Onward referral mechanisms in place for specialized care, including survivors of gender-based violence
• Identification, documentation, facilitation and care of separated, unaccompanied and orphaned children
• Building capacity of local government child protection systems to prevent and respond to exploitation
An estimated 395,000 pre-schoolers and elementary students are affected in the four most affected provinces. Classes are suspended in many areas with schools damaged, destroyed or used as living spaces. As well as the routine of school, children have lost school materials and books. The stress of the disaster, loss, displacement and economic and social vulnerability is likely to impact children’s psychosocial wellbeing.
• Establish Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) with water and sanitation facilities
• Train teachers, Day Care workers and Community Volunteers in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in Emergencies and Education in Emergencies (EiE)
• Replacement of learning materials and school supplies