UN launches Philippine typhoon aid appeal

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 December, 2012, 11:55am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 December, 2012, 4:54pm

The United Nations launched a US$65 million global aid appeal on Monday to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by a deadly typhoon that ravaged the southern Philippines.

Luiza Carvalho, country officer for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the funds would help provide food, water and emergency shelter to 480,000 people in the worst-hit areas.

“Five million people were affected and they need express assistance,” Wall, Carvalho told reporters.

“Their priority needs are food, water and shelter but there’s also a big emphasis on helping people’s livelihood,” she said.

“So many farmers have lost their crops and it’s such a poor area. People need to earn money immediately and agriculture has to be rehabilitated,” she added.

She declined to give an estimate of the needs of the hard-hit region, the centre of both the country’s banana as well as gold mining industries.

But she said a number of villages were still completely cut off and not receiving any aid, a week after the Typhoon Bopha struck.

The region would need sustained assistance for at least six months, she added.

The civil defence office in Manila said 647 corpses had been recovered after landslides and floods obliterated entire communities in the typhoon’s path.

A total of 780 people are still missing, including about 150 fishermen from General Santos, the country’s tuna capital, who had put to sea ahead of Bopha’s landfall.

Civil defence chief Benito Ramos has said many of those missing could be among the hundreds of unidentified bodies, many of them bloated beyond recognition.