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UNICEF concerned about children in unreached areas affected by Typhoon Koppu, appeals for $2.8 million USD

MANILA, Philippines, 19 October 2015 — UNICEF is on high alert after Typhoon Koppu (local name Lando) made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday morning. The slow moving typhoon has brought torrential rain and strong winds, causing floods, landslides, flying debris, power outages, downed communication lines, and damaged roads and bridges.

According to Government reports, 55,554 people have been evacuated. More than 12,125 families are now staying in 136 evacuation centers, and 104,299 people have been displaced. Around 15 incidents of flooding were reported in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Bulacan. Assessments planned in the coming week will confirm the numbers and extent of impact, as communication with affected communities are restored later in the week.

UNICEF notes that the government’s preparedness and early action in pre-emptive evacuation and widespread public information have minimized damage to life and property. UNICEF also activated its emergency preparedness measures days before the typhoon struck the archipelago. In any disaster, children are the most vulnerable.

“UNICEF’s first priority is to ensure children are safe and protected. Following a typhoon, children face risks from contaminated water sources, lack of food, epidemics such as cholera, hypothermia, diarrhea and pneumonia,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander said. “Secondly, we must ensure that the rhythm of children’s lives are restored and that they get back to school as soon as possible. Typhoon Koppu’s slow moving path includes mountainous and hard-to-reach areas, and we are concerned about the wellbeing of all affected children. UNICEF is ready to respond as soon as asked to by the Government.”

While reports from affected areas are trickling in, UNICEF’s emergency experts foresee needs in restoring safe water supply for flooded areas, health and nutrition including support for breastfeeding mothers and new-born children, and resumption of children’s education. UNICEF has prepositioned supplies for about 12,000 families, including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, school supplies, therapeutic food, tents and generators.

UNICEF is appealing for $2.8 million USD to replenish supplies. Typhoon Koppu is the twelfth tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines in 2015. The country typically experiences over 20 typhoons a year. This year is predicted to bring more intense typhoons in the latter part as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. There is already another Typhoon, Champi, looming on the Philippines.

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For further information, please contact:
Zafrin Chowdhury, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 77, Mobile: +63 917 867 8366, zchowdhury@unicef.org 
Marge Francia, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 73, Mobile: +63 917 858 9447, mfrancia@unicef.org
Rose Foley, UNICEF New York, + 1 917 340 2582,  rfoley@unicef.org


 

 

 

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