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UNICEF issues urgent appeal for Philippines typhoon emergency

© Photo courtesy of EPA European Pressphoto Agency/Dennis M. Sabangan
A Filipino father and his children wait for food relief outside their makeshift tent in the super typhoon devastated city of Tacloban.

BANGKOK, 11 November 2013 - The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today appealed to the Thai public for urgent donations to help millions of Filipino children and families needing emergency assistance in the wake of the devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan.

The typhoon, which ravaged the central Philippines after making landfall last Friday, is estimated to have killed up to 10,000 people. At least 500,000 people have been displaced by the storm, and an estimated 9.5 million Filipinos – approximately 4 million of them children – have been affected.

UNICEF is sending therapeutic food for children, health kits and water and hygiene kits, and redeploying staff already in the Philippines, to the hardest hit areas. Another $1.3 million worth of emergency supplies is being airlifted to the Philippines from the UNICEF supply center in Copenhagen.  Additional UNICEF emergency aid workers and supplies from other countries will also be sent to respond to the disaster. 

Tomoo Hozumi, the UNICEF Representative in the Philippines, said “the first priorities are focused on life-saving interventions – getting essential medicines, nutrition, safe water and hygiene to children and families. Our utmost efforts will be to help ensure that the vulnerable and affected children are protected.”

The typhoon, which packed sustained winds measured in excess of 300 kiolmetres per hour, was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded and likely the deadliest to ever hit the  Philippines.  In some coastal areas the typhoon caused massive, tsunami-like storm surges that swept away everything in their path.

In the city of Tacloban, which had a population of over 200,000 people prior to the typhoon, eyewitnesses reported “utter devastation” and a “wasteland of mud and debris.” 

Emergency resources are already stretched in the Philippines, which is still responding to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in central Bohol province in October as well as deadly ethnic strife in Zambonga province in September.

Bijaya Rajbhandari, the UNICEF Representative in Thailand, urged the Thai public to respond to the UNICEF appeal for funding. 

“When the Indian Ocean tsunami struck the Andaman coast in December 2004, donors around the world responded generously, ensuring that every child and family in Thailand that needed help received it,” Rajbhandari said. “Given the dire situation faced by millions of children and families in the Philippines, UNICEF is asking the Thai public to be just as generous in their response.”

To make a donation, please call 02 356 9299 or go to http://tinyurl.com/supportuniceftyphoon or transfer to UNICEF Thailand:

Bangkok Bank -Kor Por Branch - 201-3-01324-4

SCB - Banglumpoo Branch - 003-3-10443-3

KBank - Banglumpoo Branch - 008-1-09766-6

Please fax pay-in slip with your name, address and phone number and state "For the Philippines" to 02 356 9229 or psfrbangkok@unicef.org  UNICEF will send a donation receipt.

 More information, please contact,

Mark Thomas, UNICEF Thailand, 02 356 9481 or mthomas@unicef.org

Heamakarn Sricharatchanya, UNICEF Thailand, 02 356 9230 or hsricharatchanya@unicef.org

Nattha Keenapan, UNICEF Thailand, 02 356 9478 or nkeenapan@unicef.org

 

 
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