4.6 million children at risk in the PhilippinesBANGKOK, 14 November 2013 -- UNICEF is appealing to the Thai public for urgent donations to help some 4.6 million Filipino children who are at risk in the wake of the devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan.
“With every day that goes by, thousands of children are becoming weaker, and more vulnerable to disease,” said Tomoo Hozumi, the UNICEF Representative in the Philippines. “The collapse of water and sanitation systems, destruction of homes and schools all are putting children at huge risk and in need of urgent help.”
The Philippines government’s estimate on the number of typhoon-related deaths was lowered from 10,000 to between 2,000 to 2,500 on November 13. Assessments show that some 11.5 million people are in need of support in 36 affected provinces.
More than 500,000 people have been displaced and are living in evacuation centres and makeshift shelters, but int eh hardest hit areas many people are still without access to adequate shelters, medicines, clean water and food.
The situation for children remains dire. Among the displaced there are an estimated 100,000 children under the age of 5 and some 60,000 pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
UNICEF has issued a global appeal for US$ 34 million to bring much-needed assistance to these children and their families. The appeal is the first estimate of the funding required to respond to the needs of those affected over the next six months. To date, just US$ 6.7 million has been raised for the UNICEF emergency response.Some UNICEF supplies have already been delivered to Tacloban, a city of 200,000 people in Leyete province, which was ravaged by the typhoon. UNICEF has redeployed staff in the Philippines to the hardest hit areas, and additional supplies and emergency specialists from other countries are on their way.
The typhoon, which packed sustained winds measured in excess of 200 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 Tacloban, 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 Ambassador for Thailand, urged the Thai public to respond to the UNICEF emergency appeal.
“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,” Anand 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:
You can also donate at 7-Eleven shops. Please tell 7-Eleven staff know that it's for UNICEF.