Statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

22 Nov 2013

imageAid delivery is gathering pace as access to affected areas improves. Partners estimate that more than 2.5 million people have received food aid and 10,000 households have received shelter materials. (Photo: UNHCR)


(Manila): Two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), the humanitarian response is well under way, with many of the logistical challenges overcome as aid reaches the communities affected by this super typhoon.

Every day relief operations are scaling up, by land, air and sea, with more people receiving the assistance they need.  Member States contributed to provide valuable hardware and technical expertise to help restore basic services.

“We are, and will continue to work with national and local Government to deliver as we have in previous calamities,” said Ms. Luiza Carvalho, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) for the Philippines. “They remain in the lead on this response, and we will continue to complement and provide support to them in any way we can.”

“We need solar lanterns, which can recharge mobile phones so communities can stay in touch and families are more secure at night. We are happy to have supported the water system restoration in Tacloban and to have around 200 women and men involved in cash-for-work in debris clearing,” said Ms. Carvalho.  “This is just the beginning.”

A vaccination campaign for measles, polio and Vitamin A aiming to reach 500,000 children begins on Monday and the needs of pregnant and new mothers continue to be addressed.  Issues of water and sanitation need monitoring to prevent disease outbreak.

The latest Government estimates the number of displaced is 4.33 million people, with over 361,000 living inside the 1,546 evacuation centres, while others are staying with relatives and host communities. Schools need to reopen so children have routine and a sense of normality to help them cope with the trauma they experienced.

Shelter and setting up temporary camps for those who have lost their homes needs focus and attention.  Uprooted trees can be utilized, so people can rebuild their homes. “People are asking for the tools,” said the RC/HC.  “They also need our support for livehoods – many jobs were lost and crops destroyed.”  Farmers in particular, require seeds and fertilizer to plant for the coming rice harvest.

“This will take time, but we are committed to supporting the longer-term recovery of families and communities,” said Ms. Carvalho.  “We are ready and willing to help in this recovery, but require the continued support of our generous donors.”

 

Contact Information

Órla Fagan, Public Information Officer, Philippines, +63 9166 364248, fagano@un.org
Matthew Cochrane, Public Information Officer, Tacloban, +63 9065723983, cochranem@un.org
Eva Modvig, Public Information Officer, + 63 9052454932, modvig@un.org

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