Safeguarding children is UNICEF?s top priority as a new Super Typhoon Hagupit is predicted to hit the Philippines

12th May 2014

Dublin, 5 December 2014 –  Merely thirteen months after they were ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan, coastal communities in the Philippines are preparing for another potentially catastrophic natural disaster. Super Typhoon Hagupit (local name Ruby) is gaining strength as it moves northwest towards the northern part of Eastern Visayas. It is expected to make landfall within the next few days. In response, UNICEF Philippines has activated full preparedness mode to assist children and their families. Pre-positioned essential supplies are ready to be deployed from its global warehouse in Copenhagen and local warehouses in Manila, Leyte and Cotabato. These emergency supplies include water kits, hygiene kits, water purification units, school tents, student and teacher materials, child friendly space tents, medical supplies, nutritional therapeutic food items to combat malnutrition, oral rehydration saults, tarpaulins and generators enough for at least 10,000 families.

Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland said: “UNICEF is greatly concerned about the possibility of another Super Typhoon hitting the same area as that which was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan this time last year. Our Emergency Response Team is monitoring the situation very closely. Fortunately UNICEF has Disaster Response specialists on the ground in the areas most likely to be affected by this Super Typhoon and are in a position to provide expert advice to the authorities in Tacloban and the surrounding areas.UNICEF is working with national and local Government and our partners to safeguard children and families, and ensure that they are prepared and supported.”

In times of disasters, children face the risk of disease outbreaks, malnutrition, violence and disrupted education. During the past months UNICEF and partners have been working closely with Local Government Units to build their resilience and capacity to respond to emergencies through disaster risk reduction systems strengthening. Through existing partnerships with INGOs and NGOs, UNICEF is ready to complement the Government’s preparedness activities and provide support in the areas of WASH, Health & Nutrition, Child Protection and Education.

UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power is available for interview.

For further information, please contact:
Clare Herbert, UNICEF Ireland, Communications & Media Manager, clare@unicef.ie, +353 87 9421281/ + 353 1 878 3000.