UN, partners revise appeal for storm-hit Philippines upward to nearly $144 million

17 November 2009

International aid agencies are seeking nearly $144 million in a revised appeal to support humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, which was hit by a series of storms since September, the United Nations said today.

According the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only $26 million has been received so far in response to the initial appeal for $74 million launched in early October.

Nearly 1,000 people died as a result of the disasters – Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoons Parma and Mirinae – which affected around 9.8 million people and destroyed over 40,000 homes.

The latest assessments by UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) show that some 4.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 520,000 children under the age of five.

“Of particular concern for humanitarian agencies are the estimated 1.7 million people still displaced or living in areas that remain flooded,” OCHA stated in a news release. “These areas are likely to remain flooded for another three or four months, putting those affected at serious risk of disease outbreaks.”

The storms have severely affected the planting season in Northern Luzon, the main agricultural region in the Philippines. Preliminary assessments by the Department of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that between 100,000 and 120,000 farming households, or half a million people, lost all of their production and assets.

Aid agencies have been reporting that funding shortfalls have limited their ability to follow through with humanitarian action plans designed to support life-saving projects and to launch early recovery efforts.

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Funding shortfall hampering relief efforts in storm-battered Philippines – UN

The United Nations humanitarian wing said today that relief efforts following the recent storms that battered the Philippines are being hampered by funding shortages, noting that only $26 million of the $74 million appeal launched last month has been received so far.