UNICEF’s key actions in the month since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall
Over 10,000 children have been vaccinated against polio and measles, and more than 9,000 have received Vitamin A supplements through a mass vaccination campaign by the Government of the Philippines with support from UNICEF, the WHO and other partners. The immunization will now move to the second phase, aiming to reach the rest of the child population that was in the path of Yolanda. At government’s request, UNICEF purchased over US$2 million worth of vaccines to replenish the in-country stocks currently being used for the immunisation campaign. UNICEF, with WHO, is helping to re-establish the cold chain - broken by Typhoon Haiyan - which is critical in keeping vaccines at the right temperature.
UNICEF and partners has completed malnutrition screening for over 21,000 children under 5 years of age for all three regions. Of those screened, 172 were in the Severe Acute Malnourished range, and 531 were moderately malnourished. Those children in need of urgent care have been enrolled into treatment programmes. There are 11 Mother Baby Tents in 2 regions, and nine peer support groups. Almost 1,000 pregnant and lactating women have been provided with support and counselling.
One week after the Typhoon UNICEF in collaboration with government and development partners had helped to restore the water supply service to at least 200,000 people in Tacloban by securing fuel generators and spare parts to run a water treatment plant. UNICEF provided water kits, water treatment products, bladders and home storage containers serving some 360,000 people in the affected regions. In addition, UNICEF has provided toilet slabs and portable toilets serving 25,000 people. From Tacloban, UNICEF’s partners have distributed family hygiene kits for a cumulative 100,000 people.
Led by the government of the Philippines and working with Save the Children and other partners, the ‘soft’ opening of schools in affected regions began on 2 December 2013. Almost 8000 children returned to school on in UNICEF-provided ‘Temporary Learning Spaces’ equipped with school-in-a box materials for children aged 6 and over (including stationery, reading material, arithmetic and numbering learning tools) and recreation kits containing footballs, handballs, volleyball nets, frisbees and skipping ropes, so that children can play individually or in groups. Overall number of set up to date: more than 30 classroom sized school tents (72 sq. mt), including distribution of close to 200 school-in-a carton kits, in Eastern Samar and Leyte, over 100 ECD kits and close to 120 recreation kits. An additional 51 school tents and, 110 school-in-a-carton and 76 recreation kits arrived in Cebu for immediate dispatch to Roxas, Leyte and Eastern Samar. A two-day teacher orientation took place prior to the opening. Temporary learning spaces can each accommodate three shifts of 100 children. The UNICEF Water Sanitation and Hygiene team has aligned plans with the education sector to ensure that all schools will have appropriate a safe water supply, clean toilets for boys and girls, handwashing stands and hygiene education.
UNICEF supported the Department of Social Welfare and Development to set up more than five child friendly spaces providing children with safe environments in which to play and receive psychosocial, health, education and information services. UNICEF, the government and partners are also monitoring transit locations, including Villamoor airbase, Ormoc, Cebu Porta transit location. 100 Women and Children Protection Desk Police Officers and Municipal/City Social Welfare and Development Offices in Leyte and Tacloban have been trained in the identification, documentation, tracing and reunification of unaccompanied and separated children using an innovative open-source mobile phone application and data storage system called RapidFTR (Family Tracing and Reunification) The system enables the collection, sorting and sharing of accurate information on separated children so that they can be registered for care services and reunited with their families. It has so far documented several cases of children separated from their primary caregivers in the Tacloban area and a team is working in Eastern Samar, where several cases of unaccompanied children have also been documented.
As of 2 December, UNICEF had deployed over 90 surge staff to the Philippines, including coordinators in WASH, Child Protection, Nutrition and Education, along with Information Management support. Of these surge staff, more than 80 are on the ground in typhoon-affected areas including Tacloban, Guiuan, Cebu and Roxas City.