UNICEF appeals for US $34 million (RM107 million) for the children of the Philippines, as Haiyan crisis deepens
KUALA LUMPUR / MANILA/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 13 November 2013 – UNICEF is appealing for US$34 million (RM107 million) globally to aid the four million children of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan when it ripped through the archipelago five 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.
"Children are still at huge risk and in need of urgent help," said Ms. Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia. "Addressing the complete destruction of homes and schools; the collapse of water and sanitation systems; and caring for the injured and severely traumatised children are among UNICEF's top priorities."
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.
Other UNICEF response efforts in the Philippines include:
§ UNICEF Philippines is currently moving 10,000 packs of water purification tablets, 3,000 hygiene kits and two water treatment units.
§ UNICEF Copenhagen is sending over 20 generators to power water treatment plants. Over 1,200 water quality testing kits are also being sent, as well as collapsible water bladders. UNICEF is purchasing 10,000 water kits and 10,500 family water kits locally, as well as water tablets for 6.3 million litres of water.
§ UNICEF hygiene specialists will provide technical advice on appropriate alternatives to toilets, and, safe solid and liquid waste disposal, and water surveillance in order to offset the advance of disease outbreaks. UNICEF will also assist in promoting menstrual hygiene management and gender separate facilities at learning centres and spaces.
§ UNICEF is rushing 30 emergency health kits, each one for a population of 1,000 people for three months. UNICEF is also sending folic acid and antibiotics for adults and children.
§ The agency will set up therapeutic feeding centres to treat severe acute malnutrition of children. Ready to use therapeutic food (peanut paste) and 1.35 million sachets of micronutrient powder is also en route.
§ UNICEF has delivered 1,860 tarpaulins - reinforced plastic sheeting – and 72 tents which may be used for schools and safe spaces, and is seeking funding to establish safe learning spaces so that children can get back to learning and parents can be reassured that their children are safe during the day. UNICEF will help set up psychosocial recovery programmes, that will include training thousands of teachers and day care workers in how to use play and art work to help children overcome the trauma they have experienced.
§ UNICEF is working with local authorities to identify and register children who may be separated from their families in displacement. UNICEF will use funding to support strengthening national, regional, and local government bodies, including local and barangay councils for the welfare of children, noting that these institutions have been weakened during the last emergencies.
As aid workers reach the survivors in areas hardest hit, 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 (RM 94.41 million), was only 13 per cent funded. This additional appeal of US$ 34 million (RM107 million) brings the agency's total funding needs to US$ 63.5 million (close to RM 200 million).
"Emergency supplies have started to reach the survivors but it's clear that much more needs to be done to ensure that children are safe and have access to clean water, food, shelter and sanitation services. UNICEF teams are working around the clock to ensure that life-saving supplies get to the children who need them," stated Ms. Belmonte.
UNICEF Malaysia has launched the "Philippines Children's Disaster Appeal" to respond to the needs of the children and families most affected by this calamity. Those who wish to donate to the Appeal in Ringgit Malaysia can visit www.HELPunicef.my to make a secure online donation via credit card; or issue a crossed cheque or bank transfer payable to 'UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND-EMERGENCY'. For more information, call (03) 2092 5812 or (03) 2095 9154.
For further information, please contact:
Indra Kumari Nadchatram,
UNICEF Media, Malaysia
(+6.03) 2095 9157
+6012 292 6872
UNICEF Media, Malaysia
(+6.03) 2095 9154 ext. 2236
+6019 658 5160