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$65M needed to help survivors of Typhoon Bopha

© UNICEF Philippines/2012/Maitem
A child surveys the damage caused by Super Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Davao/Bangkok/Geneva/New York, 10 December 2012--The United Nations and humanitarian partners today appealed for US$65 million to provide immediate lifesaving aid and support in recovery to the millions affected by Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines.

The Action Plan for Recovery outlines how the humanitarian community will deliver assistance to meet the priority needs of survivors, which according to assessments are emergency shelter, water and sanitation, food and livelihoods.

Typhoon Bopha, known locally as Pablo, cut across the Southern Philippines between 4 and 7 December, triggering flash floods and landslides, killing hundreds, devastating houses and crops and affecting the lives of millions of people. It is the strongest typhoon to hit the area in decades.

Humanitarian agencies immediately began helping the Government to respond by providing assistance as requested from existing stockpiles and carrying out joint rapid damage and needs assessments. On Friday 7 December, the Government of the Philippines declared a state of national calamity and accepted the offer of international assistance made by the Humanitarian Country Team.

The Action Plan for Recovery outlines a six month plan for response, to be provided by UN Agencies, international and local NGOs working alongside the Government. The Plan will deliver urgently needed food, water and emergency shelter, and other urgent assistance to 480,000 seriously affected people in the worst hit areas. In the weeks and months to come, support will be provided to assist emotional as well as physical recovery, with particular attention to the needs of the most vulnerable.

In the longer term, the Plan focuses particularly on the need to rehabilitate the agriculture sector. Farmers in Mindanao, one of the poorest areas of the Philippines, have seen their crops devastated. In an area highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, thousands are now completely unable to provide for their families.

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Luiza Carvalho, who has visited the affected area, said the impact was ‘beyond imagination’ and people desperately needed help. “I have seen total devastation of villages. Neighborhoods are completely flattened and houses reduced to debris. Entire communities, including pregnant women and children, have no shelter,” she said.

Speaking from Davao City in the affected area of Southern Mindanao, the Humanitarian Coordinator also praised the response by the local Filipino people, authorities and NGOs. “I am profoundly moved by the Filipino people and their determination to help each other during this time,” said Ms. Carvalho. “We pledge to work alongside them and the Government for as long as it takes to get everyone back on their feet.”

As part of the UN appeal, UNICEF is appealing for US$12,977,000 for education, nutrition, child protection and water, sanitation and hygiene, all categorised as very high priority.  



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