News / Asia

Relief for Philippines Hampered by Logistical Challenges

Children help to carry pails of drinking water as they walk past graffiti calling for help after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
Children help to carry pails of drinking water as they walk past graffiti calling for help after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations is appealing for more than $301 million to provide life-saving aid to millions of victims of Typhoon Haiyan during the coming six months. The Philippines government estimates 11.3 million people in nine regions are affected by the widespread damage caused by Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall on record.

This humanitarian relief operation is huge and growing bigger by the day. The U.N. reports access to affected areas remains problematic. It says emergency services are working around the clock to remove debris from the roads and runways to allow transportation of aid.

Despite the many obstacles, aid agencies every day are flying in emergency supplies of food, clean water, medicine, tents and other shelter supplies to aid the victims. A spokeswoman for the U.N. Children’s Fund, Marixie Mercado, said no one has a full sense yet of the scale of the disaster as many areas are still out of reach.

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
“There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. It is a very coastal population. Most people live on the coast," said Mercado. "It is hard to reach these people even in normal circumstances. Right now, it is that much harder. About one-third of children are malnourished in the Philippines or stunted, which means it points to a condition of chronic malnutrition. This is why it is so important that we can get safe water, hygiene items, proper sanitation, and medicine to protect children against diarrhea immediately.”  

The World Food Program reports it plans to feed 2.5 million people during the next six months. But at the moment, it says distributing food to the needy is a logistical nightmare. It says roads are blocked and airports are destroyed. The U.N. food agency says it is working with the government to set up operational hubs and organize airlifts of essential supplies.

The World Health Organization says the typhoon has left health facilities damaged or completely destroyed. It says health services in the worst affected areas no longer exist or are severely stretched. It says medical supplies are in very short supply.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevitch said the priority is to establish temporary medical centers to treat the overwhelming health needs. “There are people who sustained injuries, trauma, but also there are people with regular health needs. And just to give you an example, it is expected that 12,000 babies will be born in the next month in the affected area. And you can imagine pregnant women need assistance, especially in these kind of conditions.”  

The World Health Organization and other aid agencies say they are concerned at reports that water borne diseases, such as dysentery and diarrhea, already are spreading.  

The U.N. refugee agency is responsible for the protection of women, children and other vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, the disabled and minority groups. The UNHCR says the current situation is putting the most vulnerable at significant risk.

For instance, it notes women and children are begging on the streets for donations. This exposes them to abuse and exploitation.

  • 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.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid