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UNICEF Responds to Typhoon Haiyan Emergency

© AP Photo/Bullit Marquez. A boy in Tacloban, in the central Philippines, walks past the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan.

© AP Photo/Bullit Marquez. A boy in Tacloban, in the central Philippines, walks past the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan.

A full picture of the devastation has begun to emerge two days after Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as “Yolanda”) ripped through the Philippines.

The Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reports that at least 18 million people were in the worst-hit areas. It is estimated that 4 million children were affected by the storm. Flash floods, landslides and severe damage to roads and buildings have been reported. The city of Tacloban, home to 220,000 residents, is now in ruins.

UNICEF’s first priority is providing life-saving interventions to children and their families, and it is deploying pre-positioned supplies to cover essential medicines, nutrition, safe water and hygiene. UNICEF estimates that more than 40 per cent of those affected by the storm are children under 18 years of age.

“As we get a better picture of the impact of this devastating crisis, it is clear that even more children are affected than first thought,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF’s Philippines representative. “UNICEF is doing all it can to reach these children, as quickly as possible with critical supplies, to protect their health, safety and wellbeing in the difficult days ahead.”

The Philippine Government is conducting a rapid assessment of the storm’s damage. So far, assessing the extent of the damage has been challenging with telecommunications and power down in many of the worst-hit areas. 125,604 people in vulnerable areas were evacuated before the storm hit. In total, over 1 million people have been displaced by the typhoon.

UNICEF is working with its partners and NGOs on the ground to deploy emergency supplies as soon as access is available. Therapeutic food, health kits, water and hygiene kits to support up to 3,000 families have already been mobilized, with distribution prioritized for the Tacloban area.

UNICEF’s supply division in Copenhagen is airlifting approximately $1.3 million worth of additional health, medical and shelter equipment for another 10,000 families. It is also airlifting water purification and storage equipment and sanitation supplies directly from suppliers in Europe and Asia to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan is the third major disaster to hit the Philippines in the last two months. It comes only a few weeks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol Province in October and an armed conflict in Zamboanga displaced tens of thousands in September.

You can help the children and families affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

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  1. John b Collins
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I have a 24 year old son interested in volunteering his labor in the phillipines.I would be willing to pay the airfare if needed.

    • Roxanne Makoff
      Posted November 12, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks, John. We appreciate you and your sons willingness to help out the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Unfortunately, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF cannot internationally deploy individuals. However, the most effective way to help those directly impacted by Typhoon Haiyan is to make a donation by visiting unicefusa.org/philippines. Additionally, if you wanted to host a fundraiser for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, we have two opportunities for you: you can create an online fundraising page (www.crowdrise.com/unicefphilippines) or you can host an event (actioncenter.unicefusa.org/fundraisers). Again, thank you for your support as we work together to help those impacted by the Typhoon.

  2. Kaitlyn O\'Connor
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I am currently a student at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Is there anything I can get my University involved with? Please email me back as soon as you can!

    • Roxanne Makoff
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kaitlyn, thanks for your message and for supporting the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. If you and your school want to host a fundraiser, we ask you to please fill out our fundraising application. There are many different ways to raise money to benefit those impacted by the Typhoon from bake sales to benefit concerts. We look forward to hearing your ideas. Thank you for your support as we work together to help our friends in the Philippines.

  3. Tina
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I would like to help. I would like to initiate a donation fund at my elementary school. Once money is collected, how can the donation be made? Also, if my students can make cards, can they be delivered to the children and families in the Philippines?

    Thank you.

      Posted November 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tina. To host a fundraiser at your school, please join the UNICEF Action Center and then complete the Fundraiser and Event Application. Thank you!

  4. Posted November 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


    I have a very small donut business on Maui and I started setting aside so part of my sales this weekend to donate to the Philippines. I don’t have much for now. Around $100. But I plan to repeat the fundraising next weekend as well. How do I donate and get a receipt for my business and ensure that my little contribution goes to the right place?

    Thank you very much.

      Posted November 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Desiree. Thanks for the question. You will can donate online at http://www.unicefusa.org/philippines today and again in the future. You will receive a receipt for your donation by email. You can also call by toll-free phone, 1-800-FOR-KIDS. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF will retain 3% to cover processing fees — but only of donations made via credit card. Please see the FAQ here. Thank you!

  5. Sonda
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    How can I arrange to have a truck come pick up clothes I have to donate to the Philippine families who were struck by the typhoon?”

      Posted November 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sonda, the U.S. Fund is not currently accepting donations of clothing. The most effective way to support that effort is to make a monetary donation to help cover its cost. To donate, go to http://www.unicefusa.org/philippines. Thank you.

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