The United Nations country team in Manila has requested $2.6 million for rapid response projects from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) after several typhoons wreaked havoc on the Philippines in recent weeks.
“Our priority is to work with our partners to provide affected communities with emergency shelter, clean water and food, and urgent healthcare” said. Nileema Noble, UN Resident Coordinator for the Philippines.
Typhoon Utor on 9 December brought renewed suffering to those struggling to recover from Typhoon Durian, which struck less than two weeks earlier. Over 1,400 people have been reported dead and close to 110,000 others have sought refuge in evacuation centres. Over seven million people have been affected by the storms, with death tolls rising as communication lines are restored to remote areas.
Ms. Noble warned that: “Adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities are needed for people living in crowded conditions, especially children and the elderly, to prevent the spread of disease, while emergency power generation is crucial for medical facilities to continue vital functions.” Mudslides, flooding and landslides have destroyed much of the permanent infrastructure in the worst affected areas.
The UN praised the quick response of the Philippines Government in urgently providing assistance to stricken communities. The UN with its humanitarian partners has also been carrying out relief assistance and assessments on immediate needs in the region.
The humanitarian community, in conjunction with local government, is working to ensure a coordinated approach to assistance and effective use of resources. Many communities, particularly in the Bicol region, remain in a precarious situation. A detailed appeal, in coordination with the Filipino government, will be launched in the coming months to enable people to rebuild their lives and support their families.