UNICEF appeals for US $34 million for the children of the Philippines, as Haiyan crisis deepens
"UNICEF will be part of the process of rebuilding the Philippines. We will build back better...let it be a symbol of what we can do - what the human spirit can do," says Ted Chaiban, UNICEF's Director of Emergency Programmes.
MANILA/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 12 November 2013 – UNICEF is appealing for US$34 million to aid the four million children of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan when it ripped through the archipelago four days ago.
The appeal is a first estimate of the requirements needed to help children and their families recover, and is expected to cover 6 months.
The appeal 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 schools 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 (including soap, detergent and personal hygiene items), education materials and recreational materials is also making its way to the area.
The enormity of needs facing children and mothers are becoming clearer every day.
Water, sanitation and hygiene services have been almost completely wiped out, with pipelines flooded and lack of electricity making water pumping and treatment impossible. Safe water is essential to protect children from diseases that, when coupled with malnutrition, can be deadly.
With many health facilities and birthing clinics destroyed, health care services will be stretched and there will be particular threats from maternal and neonatal mortality.
An estimated 100,000 children under the age of five and 60,000 pregnant or nursing mothers were displaced by Haiyan. Interruptions in maternal and child feeding routines like breastfeeding, combined with 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.
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.
Destruction of homes and schools during disasters, and the resulting mass displacement of communities and families, are known to leave children at risk of abuse and exploitation.
UNICEF resources were severely stretched even before the typhoon hit. UNICEF's 90 staff in the Philippines were already responding to the Bohol earthquake of 15 October that affected 3.2 million people. Before Typhoon Haiyan, UNICEF’s 2013 appeal, for just under US$30 million, was only 13 per cent funded. This additional appeal of US$34.2 million brings the agency's total funding need to US$63.5 million.
UNICEF asks you to help the children of the Philippines by donating here.
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Zafrin Chowdhury, UNICEF Philippines, Tel:+632 901 01 77, Mobile: +63 917 867 8366, firstname.lastname@example.org,