Typhoon Haiyan

UN relief chief calls for more help for typhoon victims

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 6:38am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 6:38am

The UN has warned that 1.5 million children are at risk of malnutrition in typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines and has called for greater efforts to provide them with food and water.

A UN appeal to cope with Typhoon Haiyan has been increased from US$301 million to US$348 million as the extent of the disaster becomes clearer.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the death toll - increased on Friday to 5,200 - would rise even as the spotlight turns away from the November 8 super typhoon.

"I am very concerned that some 1.5 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition and close to 800,000 pregnant and nursing mothers need nutritional help," she said, adding that huge numbers were still exposed to bad weather in the nine provinces ravaged by the storm. An estimated four million people have been left homeless.

A large international relief operation was launched after the storm, but Amos said: "Much more needs to be done. Food, clean water and shelter remain the top priorities."

The storm had also left a major communications blackout. "People have little or no access to basic information," Amos said.