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UNICEF brings relief to Mindoro flood victims

© UNICEF Philippines/2005/Rodriguez
A girl student lays down pages of drenched text books to dry up under the sun at the Camilmil Elementary School in Oriental Mindoro.

15 December 2005, Makati --- UNICEF delivered half a million peso
(US$ 10,000) worth of emergency assistance including essential drugs, medical supplies, and relief to communities heavily affected by flash floods in the island province of Oriental Mindoro.

Since December 5, heavy rains have drenched Southern Luzon, destroying a major dike in the town of Naujan in Oriental Mindoro. Flood waters inundated at least five other towns and the capital city of Calapan, affecting over 180,000 people.

Using its Emergency Fund, UNICEF quickly sent 500 family emergency packs to Oriental Mindoro with the help of a non-government organization partner, the Southern Tagalog Kanlungan Development Center (STKDC).

The emergency health supplies will provide for the basic medical needs of more than 10,000 people for at least three months. STKDC distributed these packs through the local churches and people's organizations.

“UNICEF’s standing Emergency Fund allows us to respond to sudden crises at a moment’s notice because we can now maintain sufficient stocks of relief items. The Philippines is one of the most emergency prone countries in the world and we have a pretty good idea when certain types of emergencies are likely to hit,” said UNICEF Country Representative, Dr. Nicholas Alipui.

The UNICEF emergency relief family packs contain water purification tablets, medicines for children, blankets, mats, and food items. A UNICEF assessment team went to Calapan City on 13 December and reported on the need to provide school supply packs to children.

Over 100 schools were submerged in waist-deep water. School classes were halted as several school buildings became evacuation sites. Before classes resume in January, UNICEF will send emergency education packages worth PhP 1.5 million (US$ 27,000) for 10 day care centers and eight elementary and high schools in the hardest hit communities. The school supply packs will benefit more than 3,000 school children.

In December 2004, UNICEF provided more than PhP 50 million (US$ 919,000) worth of relief and recovery assistance to the provinces of Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Isabela, and Mt. Province after a series of tropical storms, resulting in flash floods and landslides, left more than 30,000 people homeless.

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For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Dale Rutstein
UNICEF Manila, 901 0177 or 0917 866 4969,
Alexis Rodrigo
UNICEF Manila, 901 0173 or 0917 858 9447,

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