UNICEF mobilises to reach children affected by Typhoon Hagupit

12th August 2014

Dublin, 8 December 2014 – As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency. UNICEF, which already has a substantial presence on the ground, is providing lifesaving supplies and services to children in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force winds and heavy rains. Latest Government estimates indicate that more than one million people have been affected, including over 400,000 children. Many of them are currently living in evacuation sites.

Typhoon Hagupit continues to ravage the Philippines, bringing destructive winds, heavy rain, water surges and landslides. Its full impact is not yet known.

Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative said: “Though, the government’s swift evacuation response has saved many from injury and even death, Hagupit remains a serious threat. UNICEF and our partners are working around the clock to provide emergency aid to tens of thousands of children. Thankfully, Typhoon Hagiput has proven less powerful than Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Eastern Visayas just 13 months ago. However there are still almost a million people – many still recovering from Haiyan – who have been driven from their homes. These people have made enormous progress in rebuilding their lives over the last 12 months, and they need our help to make sure these hard-won gains are not washed away by this new disaster.”

Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland said: “UNICEF’s Tacloban office, which was established after Super Typhoon Haiyan, last week activated its emergency response plan. Our staff has been deployed to affected areas to undertake expert assessments and work with the Filipino government and partners to assist evacuees. UNICEF staff is currently loading supply trucks to pre-position essential supplies and equipment from local warehouses to affected areas in Samar and beyond.”

With poor sanitation and unclean water a direct threat to children’s health, restoration of existing water sources will be a top priority in the critical days after the storm. UNICEF has supplies prepositioned in warehouses in Tacloban, Manila and Cotabato, including water kits, hygiene kits, water pumps, generators, water storage and treatment facilities.

Other emergency supplies include medical supplies, nutritional therapeutic food to combat malnutrition, oral rehydration salts, tarpaulins and electrical power for at least 12,000 families.  School tents as well as education materials will also be provided so that children forced to evacuate, or whose schools have been closed or damaged by the storm, can continue learning.

Photo and b-roll from Tacloban is available at: http://uni.cf/1G3whKu

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