United Nations express concern for those who remain cut off from relief efforts in the Philippines

10 Nov 2013

(Manila) - The United Nations and the humanitarian community have ramped up critical relief operations following the devastating super typhoon that hit the Philippines on 8 November. However, access remains a key challenge as some areas are still cut off from relief operations.

The Government of the Philippines in partnership with Member States have mobilized search and rescue efforts, continue to clear main roads and have created a pipeline of aid and goods distribution, deployment of security personnel and logistic support. However travel to remote locations remains a challenge and there are areas that have not yet been reached to assess casualties and damage.

Unknown numbers of survivors do not have basic necessities such as food, water and medicines and remain inaccessible for relief operations, as roads, airports and bridges were destroyed or covered in wreckage.

"UN emergency response teams arrived in Tacloban city within l2 hours of the disaster. Specialist teams from member states and humanitarian agencies are committed and mobilized, and making their way to the Philippines. They are pooling resources, food and non-food items to assist the most vulnerable people," said Luiza Carvalho, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines.

"lt is vital that we reach those who are stranded in isolated areas as they are at risk of further threats such as malnutrition, exposure to bad weather and unsafe drinking water," she said.

Relief operations have begun including airlifting of lifesaving food, health, medical and other supplies. Available stockpiles were also released to meet immediate needs.

"We must ensure everybody including the most vulnerable - children, the sick, the elderly and the disabled are protected from further suffering, having survived this terribly traumatic event," said Ms Carvalho. "l want to thank Member States and the humanitarian community for their prompt response and I urge continued international assistance."

For further information:

Please call Orla Fagan, Public Information Officer, Philippines, +63 9166 364248, fagano@un.org

For more information about OCHA please see: http://ochaonline.un.org