Responding to needs of children affected by Typhoon Mangkhut

Emergency programs and services continue four months after the typhoon

Marge Francia
Mothers, caregivers and their children sit inside a health center
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

04 January 2019

UNICEF continues to support ongoing Government-led emergency response efforts in areas affected by Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) in September 2017, ensuring that children stay healthy, they continue learning and get to play, and that they are protected from violence, abuse and neglect.

A UNICEF staff worker supervises a play session with children
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

Rodel Barrientos-Casado, UNICEF Philippines Child Protection Officer, supervises a play session in a Child-Friendly Space (CFS) in Barangay Aurora, Pudtol. CFSs provide a safe space in communities and evacuation centers where children can play and participate in activities under the supervision of trained facilitators. These activities help in the psychosocial recovery of children affected by Typhoon Ompong. As of December 2018, more than 1,668 children have benefited from CFS sessions.

A UNICEF staff worker talks to a school principal in front of a school building damaged by a typhoon
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

Sta. Maria Elementary School Principal Winifredo Ferrer shows UNICEF Philippines Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Officer Geo Lapina school rooms damaged by Typhoon Ompong in Barangay Flora, Apayao. As of December 2018, four UNICEF tents are being used as temporary classrooms while repairs of damaged school buildings are ongoing.

A UNICEF staff worker measures the circumference of a child's mid-upper arm
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

Dr. Rene Galera, UNICEF Philippines Nutrition Specialist, helps a health worker measure the circumference of one-year-old baby Divine Roque’s mid-upper arm to determine her nutritional status. If the tape hits the yellow or red number range, it means that she is malnourished and needs immediate special care and treatment.

Children are at risk of malnutrition in the aftermath of an emergency because of displacement, lack of clean water and nutritious food, and absence of clean and safe spaces for breastfeeding. As of December 2018, a total of 2,449 children have been screened and 230 pregnant and lactating women affected by Typhoon Ompong have been provided with Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) counseling support.

A boy in a blue UNICEF t-shirt stands in front of a UNICEF tent
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

Sta. Maria Elementary School student Mark Lexter Arafiles wears a shirt from the student supplies kit provided by UNICEF. Because some classrooms were damaged by Typhoon Ompong, students from the school also benefit from the UNICEF tents that serve as temporary classrooms while school buildings are being repaired.

As of December 2018, 24 boxes of Early Childhood Care and Development supplies, and 400 student kits have been distributed. Four tents are being used as temporary classrooms. Around 1,200 preschool and elementary school children have continued their learning from these supplies.

A facilitator supervises children while they are playing volleyball
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

A trained Child-Friendly Space (CFS) facilitator in Barangay Aga, Pudtol, oversees a volleyball game being played by children affected by Typhoon Ompong. Play and recreational activities helps in the psychosocial recovery of children. As of December 2018, more than 1,668 children have benefited from CFS sessions.

UNICEF and Save the Children staff members inspect a water tank beside a school building
UNICEF Philippines/2018/Jake Verzosa

UNICEF Philippines Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Officer Geo Lapina inspects handwashing facilities installed after Typhoon Ompong in Sta. Maria Elementary School, with Save the Children WASH consultant Von Lester Verzola. Damaged water systems put children at risk of getting sick because of unclean water and the lack of sanitation facilities where they can wash their hands and brush their teeth.

As of December 2018, six municipalities affected by the typhoon have been trained in water quality monitoring, 17,000 residents have benefited from water purification and storage kits, 7,000 families have been provided with hygiene supplies, and 4,000 have benefited from hygiene information and promotion activities.