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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

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