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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid