UN launches aid appeal for Philippine typhoon victims
Agence France-Presse in Manila
The United Nations launched an appeal on Friday for more international aid to help nearly a million people in the Philippines as they recover from last year’s deadliest typhoon in the world.
The UN said it needed another US$48.6 million to give “immediate life-saving assistance” to survivors of Typhoon Bopha, which killed 1,060 people and left more than 800 others missing in the south of the country in December.
“The magnitude of this disaster demands more, and the funding and resources we have at present are not commensurate with the needs that we must meet,” UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Luiza Carvalho said in a statement.
The UN had appealed for US$65 million shortly after Bopha struck, but the total amount needed has risen to US$76 million, according to Carvalho. She said the UN had so far raised just US$27.36 million.
More than seven weeks after the typhoon smashed through mostly farming areas of Mindanao island, close to 850,000 people “remain displaced” and living typically in flimsy, temporary housing, Carvalho said.
“In the most affected municipalities, people are residing in spontaneous settlements, on the remains of their former homes, and some are living on the sides of roads,” she said.
About 6,000 people have been unable to move out from government-run typhoon shelters at all, and conditions worsened when the region endured fresh flooding this week, Carvalho told reporters in a separate interview.
Another nine people have died in the new floods, according to Philippine authorities.
“It’s a sort of a rolling emergency and it’s a matter of concern for all of us,” Carvalho said.
The extra funds would help build durable shelters, identify relocation sites safe from floods and landslides, provide water and sanitation services, and help the mostly rural communities get their farms running again, she said.