News / Asia

UN: More Typhoon Survivors Need Food Aid in Philippines

  • Typhoon Haiyan survivors wait for their evacuation flights at the airport in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 21, 2013.
  • A typhoon survivor sits beside the body bag containing his child in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • A Philippine Air Force crew looks out from his helicopter as Typhoon Haiyan-ravaged city of Tacloban is seen in the background, during a flight to deliver relief goods, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • The brakelight of a delivery truck lights up a boy's face as survivors struggle to be the first in line during the distribution of relief goods in typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • Firemen unload Typhoon Haiyan victims in body bags from a truck on the roadside until forensic experts can register and bury them in a mass grave outside of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • A Typhoon Haiyan survivor carries a bag of his recovered belongings in the ruins of his rural neighborhood on the outskirts of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • A man uses a shovel to clean up mud inside St. Joseph Parish church, which was badly damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • Typhoon Haiyan survivors walk along a road in the destroyed port in the town of Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • A young boy, a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan covers his ears as military C-130 aircraft land at the airport in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan shade themselves from the rising sun after spending the night on the tarmac in the airport in Tacloban, where they wait to be evacuated, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • Toppled coconut trees dot a mountain in an area devastated by typhoon Haiyan in Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.
Images from the Philippines
VOA News
The United Nations announced that it has yet to reach nearly a quarter of those in need of emergency food aid, 11 days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines.
 
The World Food Program (WFP) said on Tuesday it has so far reached 1.9 million people out of the estimated 2.5 million Filipinos in need of assistance.
 
WFP executive director Ertharin Cousin told reporters in Manila hrt agency is not overwhelmed, but faces several logistical challenges in reaching remote areas.
 
"Every disaster is different. The challenges of the Philippines are primarily geographical challenges, this being an island nation, and the logistical challenges of reaching out to different pockets of small communities," said Cousin.
 
Thousands of people were killed when Haiyan made landfall, bringing tsunami-like waves and powerful winds that destroyed entire villages.
 
Initial aid flow was hampered by infrastructure problems, including a lack of electricity, poor communication, impassable roads and little access to fuel.
 
However, aid has since begun to flow quicker, thanks in part to a massive relief effort by the United States military, which has about 1,200 soldiers on the ground.
 
U.S. Navy Commander William Marks said Tuesday many land routes have been cleared, allowing over 80 percent of the aid to be delivered using trucks, rather than by less efficient helicopters.
 
In a statement, Commander Marks said the development means there is less need for air support from the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, which has served as a hub for the helicopter missions. Marks estimates the carrier will remain in the region for two more days.
 
The Philippine government said the typhoon killed at least 3,974 people and left about 1,200 missing. Many were swept away and drowned in a huge storm surge triggered by one of the strongest cyclones on record to make landfall anywhere in the world.

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