News / Asia

UN Launches Appeal for Typhoon-ravaged Philippines

International Relief Efforts Picking up in Typhoon-Hit Philippinesi
November 12, 2013 9:45 AM
A U.S. aircraft carrier headed to the Philippines Tuesday as part of efforts to accelerate aid to typhoon-ravaged areas of the country, where 10,000 people are feared dead and many more displaced.
International Relief Efforts Picking up in Typhoon-Hit Philippines
Simone Orendain
International humanitarian officials are grappling with the challenges of trying to get help into typhoon-ravaged central Philippines while people on the ground grow more desperate for food, clean water and medicine. The United Nations is appealing for $301 million, saying the greatest needs are food, water, shelter, medicine and clearing up debris.

As many as 10,000 people are feared dead.  But President Benigno Aquino was quoted on CNN as saying the initial death projection was "too much," and that the final accounting would more likely be around 2,000 to 2,500.
Super Typhoon Haiyan

  • 10,000 people feared dead
  • At least 9.8 million people affected
  • About 660,000 people displaced
  • 394,494 people are in evacuation centers
  • 1,316 evacuation centers have been established

Source: UN
In Manila Tuesday, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said the magnitude of this crisis is “at the very top” of the U.N.’s scale for measuring the impact of emergencies.
“It’s been extremely difficult even to get a sense of what the immediate needs are because it’s been very difficult to get to some of the areas affected," Amos said.
Electricity in some provinces remains completely out. In others it is only partially restored. Communications links are slowly improving but many are still trying to reach loved ones on the phones.
  • People line up to be evacuated outside Tacloban airport, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A survivor wipes his face under a Philippines national flag in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Members of a Philippines rescue team carry corpses in body bags as they search for the dead in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A rescue team wades into flood waters to retrieve a body in Tacloban, central Phillipines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors hang signs from their necks as they line up to try to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors jostle to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • A Philippine air force officer hands out orange slices to typhoon survivors as they line up to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Tacloban residents wait for military flights inside the terminal of Tacloban airport, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors rush to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Survivors walk in typhoon ravaged Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • An aerial view of the ruins of houses after the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city in central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Survivors carry bags of rice from a warehouse they stormed to get food after the typhoon, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.

As aid groups struggle to deliver food, water and medicine to the some 600,000 people displaced by the crisis, reports from areas in the disaster zone say the situation is getting desperate.
Deadliest Storms Since 1900

  • Cyclone Bhola killed at least 300,000 in what is now Bangladesh in 1970
  • Super Typhoon Nina killed at least 171,000 in China in 1975
  • Cyclone Gorky killed 138,866 in Bangladesh in 1991
  • Cyclone Nargis killed 138,366 in Burma in 2008
  • Cyclone Swatow killed 100,000 in China in 1922

Source: CRED, Weather Underground, Reuters
There have been reports of aid trucks being stopped before they can get to their designated locations, grocery stores and malls have been looted. On Tuesday, a mob of about 3,000 people broke through the fence of the airport in Tacloban to meet a military plane delivering provisions.
The U.N. appeal is for its action plan which includes 15 projects that support the government’s civil defense, health and social services.
The other challenge of trying to give aid has been coordination among those doing the giving.
The U.N. is urging aid agencies to go through a logistics briefing once they arrive at the airport in Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities. The interior minister told a local news outlet people arriving at the airport and wanting to bring aid have at times ended up waiting to find out where and how they can help.
More than two dozen governments have offered support in the form of funding, humanitarian aid as well as military assets. Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the support of the international community has been tremendous.

“Certainly it gives us comfort that we are not alone in this fight- in rehabilitating in the affected areas and in providing relief goods. Therefore we are very thankful for the countries who have pledged assistance to us,” he said.
Aid agencies say efforts are “scaling up” as scores of countries pledge money, resources and personnel to help deal with the crisis.  But getting the aid to those who need it most remains the biggest hurdle.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Tonya from: KY
November 13, 2013 7:51 AM
I feel we are all in this world to love one another and when a disaster happens,just be there for all who need help and are suffering. I know I will be donating (not money), and maybe others wil find it in their hearts to do the same. "Help anyone who is in need"

by: Gregory A. Peterson from: Raleigh, NC
November 12, 2013 4:30 PM
its a storm and yes it was a storm, I don't remember the international emergency being sounded for Katrina... if I remember correctly Americans were left on their own....I do vaguely remember Fidel Castro offering Cuba's help and George W. Bush turned it down...
In Response

by: Ed Atkins from: San Diego
November 13, 2013 1:02 PM
So Gregory, if I may paraphrase what you avoided saying (I'll give you the spine you lack)... What you wanted to say is that "America, do not help". That's what you wanted to say, right? Just checking.
In Response

by: Mike Lontoc from: NJ
November 12, 2013 10:42 PM
Your memory is short then. Many countries offered financial aid, personnel and emergency supplies after Katrina. We were not left on our own.

by: Varney Samukai from: Monrovia, Liberia
November 12, 2013 4:05 PM
I am saying sorry to the people of that country and I pray that God almighty deliever them through their hardship. the world have to do something about this.

by: Thomas Hood from: NC
November 12, 2013 3:22 PM
Do not give money to the UN. The UN is notorious for mismanaging relief efforts.

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
November 12, 2013 2:43 PM
It might have been a big typhoon but it wasn't the killer the news media made it out to be -- the sensationalizing media that fewer and fewer people trust anymore.

Certainly the Philippines need help right now to fix things that broke, but a bigger problem is the corruption of the government that will see much of the aid sent in siphoned off by the bad guys.

Furthermore, the 2,500 dead the government said were killed, is a lot less than the almost 140,000 people killed by individual whopper storms in Bangladesh and in Burma over the past couple of decades, but which didn't get much Western media coverage because the dead and maimed were not Christians and were darker skinned than the people of the Philippines where American troops are stationed . The media, basically, is inaccurate, ugly and racist.

by: Glowingblue from: Portland Oregon
November 12, 2013 2:41 PM
That's interesting. Japan just announced it needs to borrow 30 BILLION to contain Fukushima Diiachi (which will never be contains, by the way)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs