Philippines: Government and Humanitarian Community launch US$301 million appeal

12 November, 2013
9 Nov, Philippines: People in Tacloban City, one of the worst affected areas. Water, sanitation and hygiene, food, medicine, shelter, debris clearance and communications are among the immediate priorities. Credit: UNICEF
9 Nov, Philippines: People in Tacloban City, one of the worst affected areas. Water, sanitation and hygiene, food, medicine, shelter, debris clearance and communications are among the immediate priorities. Credit: UNICEF

The United Nations and its partners today released an Action Plan for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines that seeks US$301 million to fund immediate, life-saving humanitarian needs for the millions of people who were affected by the disaster.

UN Humanitarian Chief, Valerie Amos, was in Manila to announce the Action Plan. Speaking at a press conference, she said that over 11 million people were affected by the storm, with some communities still to be reached.

"Millions of families have had their lives torn apart by Typhoon Haiyan," said Ms. Amos. “They have lost everything and desperately need help now. The scale of the destruction is shocking. We must make every effort to reach people," she added.

The Philippines Government and the UN estimate that approximately 670,000 people have been forced from their homes in Eastern and Western Visayas.

Tens of thousands of people are suffering from injuries. The death toll – believed to be in the thousands – is still rising as more areas are being assessed.

The Action Plan aims to provide targeted support to people in the hardest hit regions. It will support the Government’s response over the next six months.

A short week

Food, water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, medicine, clearing debris and establishing supply chains have all been identified as urgent priorities. In Tacloban City, the Government has identified the lack of safe drinking water and shelter, and the prevalence of trauma injuries as the most immediate issues to be addressed. 

The Philippines Government declared a national calamity on 11 November as the extent of the devastation in the provinces of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Palawan became apparent. 

Sebastian Rhodes-Stampa, the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team leader described the southern coastal areas of Eastern Samar province – where Haiyan first made landfall – as scenes of "appalling devastation and tragedy."

Towns along the coast of southeastern Samar were devastated by a 4 metre storm surge. Out of the 46,000 people in the city of Guiuan, at least 65 people have died and 20 are still missing. 

Humanitarian response

All partners are focusing on fast-tracking relief efforts including incoming international assistance. Speaking in Manila, Ms. Amos said "the UN and its partners remain committed to supporting the Government and the Filipino people in any way required - now and in the longer-term when communities will need to be rebuilt."

The number of humanitarian responders also continues to increase. The President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, said that 22 Member States have so far pledged to provide critical humanitarian relief. 

For more on the crisis, and to find out how you can support aid operations on the ground, visit OCHA’s Typhoon Haiyan hub

More on OCHA in Asia and the Pacific >>

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