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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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