News / Asia

UN Aid Chief Tours Typhoon-ravaged Philippine City

Devastated Infrastructure Hampers Aid Effortsi
X
November 14, 2013 7:52 AM
Nearly a week after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines, destroyed roadways are hampering efforts to get aid to hundreds of thousands of people in dire need of basic supplies.
Watch related video from VOA
VOA News
United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has toured the typhoon-ravaged Philippine city of Tacloban, where she says the priority is to get basic relief supplies to victims.

Amos told reporters on Wednesday that not enough supplies are getting through, five days after Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the region.

The Philippine government says the death toll from the storm has risen to 2,344.  Rescue workers fear the body count could grow much higher because many remote areas have not yet been reached.

At the U.N., spokesman Martin Nesirky said blocked roads have hampered relief workers' efforts to get supplies to victims.

"It's not as if nothing is happening, it's simply not enough is happening at the speed that is required, given the number of people who require assistance," said Nesirky.

A variety of relief organizations is trying to reach out to victims.

Typhoon Haiyan - large thumbnailTyphoon Haiyan - large thumbnail
x
Typhoon Haiyan - large thumbnail
Typhoon Haiyan - large thumbnail
"The World Food Program says rice has been distributed to almost 50,000 people in the Tacloban area and that 10 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) have been delivered so far.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is getting medical teams and supplies into the area, but that reaching those in need remains a challenge.  So far, teams from Australia, Japan and Germany are en route or have already arrived in the region.

President Barack Obama said the United States would continue to offer whatever assistance it could as the Philippines recovers from the "awful destruction of Typhoon Haiyan."

In a Wednesday statement, Obama also said the U.S. has been offering support to Philippine Americans who are worried about loved ones in the affected regions.

In a Wednesday briefing, a senior U.S. administration official said more than 300 military personnel are on the ground in the Philippines and the number will rise above 1,000 by week's end.

Officials say the United States has provided $20 million in assistance to date, with about half going to the World Food Program.
.
VOA reporter Steve Herman is in the Philippines covering rescue and recovery efforts.
Also, the U.S. military has used C-130 transport planes to evacuate hundreds of Philippine residents from hard hit areas.
 
In a VOA interview, USAID Foreign Disaster Assistance Director Jeremy Konyndyk said in spite of the initial obstacles, aid is beginning to flow into affected regions.

"We have seen a real uptick in the distribution within the last 24 hours.  Some of the first really large shipments of U.S. shelter support and hygiene support were distributed over the last 12 to 24 hours.  There is more of that coming," said Konyndyk.

The U.S. Navy says the carrier U.S.S. George Washington and four other ships are en route and should be in position on Thursday.

The carrier team will be able to produce millions of liters of drinking water daily.  

U.S. Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is leading a group of U.S. Marines on the ground in Tacloban, says the "entire Pacific Command" is responding to the crisis.

He says efforts are under way to distribute water purification units and that the command is setting up equipment that will make it easier for airplanes to land in the affected regions.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, sounding a note of optimism, on Tuesday told CNN the final toll could be significantly lower than the 10,000 figure initially given by local officials.  Aquino spoke as stories of hunger, desperation and loss continued to trickle in from Tacloban.

  • 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.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More