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Typhoon Haiyan Update: UNICEF’s Emergency Response

A Filipino father and his children wait for food relief outside their makeshift tent in Tacloban, which was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

© Photo courtesy of EPA European Pressphoto Agency/DENNIS M. SABANGAN. A Filipino father and his children wait for food relief outside their makeshift tent in Tacloban, which was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

UNICEF has designated Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines a Level Three emergency — the highest possible category. UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Tomoo Hozumi says that Typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda locally, is the country’s ”largest natural calamity in known history.” Here’s the big picture:

The Situation

• Survivors desperately need emergency aid. In the worst affected areas, there are shortages of everything — food, water, sanitation and electricity.

• 50 million people live in the nine regions hit by Typhoon Haiyan. 11.3 million people are directly affected and 4.4 million of those are children.

• 673,000 people have been displaced, and as many as 300,000 of these are children.

• The exact number of unaccompanied children, those who have lost or been separated from their family members, is unknown but expected to be high.

The Response

• UNICEF prepared for the storm and was the first humanitarian organization on the ground in Tacloban afterwards, distributing sanitation equipment that had been prepositioned before Haiyan’s arrival. Sanitation is crucial. When there is no water and no toilets — the outbreak of disease is a near certainty.

• UNICEF continues to distribute prepositioned relief supplies from Mindanao, Manila and Cebu including therapeutic food, health kits and water and sanitation equipment. 10,000 family hygiene kits and 10,500 water kits are being procured locally.

• Two deliveries of supplies, airlifted from UNICEF’s global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, arrived in Cebu on November 10 and 11. More airlifts will follow. UNICEF is also sending over 20 generators to power water treatment plants.

• UNICEF’s 90-person staff in the Philippines were already responding to the October 15 Bohol earthquake and September’s conflict in Zamboanga when the storm hit, so the emergency supplies at hand were already depleted.

• UNICEF is mobilizing to help protect unaccompanied children, who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, by working with the government of the Philippines to set up a family tracing system

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6 Comments

  1. Zoe
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    My school is going to try to raise some money for the Philippines, and we are looking for places to donate to. We watched some videos in class of what’s going on. I was hart broken. I want to do as much as I can!

  2. Sang Nguyen
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello,
    I am a college student at Bloomsburg University and would like to help raise money to donate directly from my school. Please contact me as soon as you can.

    • Roxanne Makoff
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Hi there – thanks for supporting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the Philippines during this difficult time. If you would like to host a fundraiser for the Philippines, we ask that you please register your fundraiser on our website: http://www.unicefusa.org/usfmaps. Our fundraiser coordinator is working tirelessly to organize and approve fundraising applications. As always, we appreciate your support and wish you the best of luck!

  3. Patricia Levitin
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I truly pray that people generously donate. They are in desperate need and we need to support the people.

  4. Priscilla Morales
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi! My name is Priscilla Morales and I currently work at an after school program with the second grade. So, I was wondering what we can do to help! If we can get involved and gather food for the Phillipines, where do we drop it off? Or if we gather money for the Phillipines how can we ask others to donate? Then where do I drop the money off? Please email me with a response as soon as possible so I can relate this message to my boss and we can start this quickly! Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon

    • UNICEF USA
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Priscilla, thank you so much for asking how you can help. Currently, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is only accepting monetary donations to support UNICEF’s emergency efforts in the Philippines. You can donate online, call toll-free, 1-800-FOR-KIDS, or send donations by mail to: The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038.

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