UNICEF concerned about children in unreached areas affected by Typhoon Koppu

19th October 2015

UNICEF appeals for $2.8M for replenishment of supplies

Manila, 19 October 2015 — UN children’s agency UNICEF is on high alert after Typhoon Koppu (Local name Lando) made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday morning. The slow moving typhoon has brought torrential rain and strong winds, causing floods, landslides, flying debris, power outages, downed communication lines, and damaged roads and bridges.

According to today’s Government reports, 55,554 people have been evacuated. More than 12,125 families are now staying in 136 evacuation centers; 104,299 people have been displaced. Around 15 incidents of flooding were reported in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Bulacan. Assessments planned in the coming week will confirm numbers and extent of impact as communication with affected communities are restored later in the week.

As in any natural disaster, children are the most vulnerable. UNICEF activated its emergency preparedness measures days before the typhoon struck the archipelago. UNICEF also notes the government’s preparedness and early action in pre-emptive evacuation and wide spread public information have minimized loss of life and damage to property.

“UNICEF’s first priority is to ensure children are safe and protected. Following a typhoon, children face risks from contaminated water sources, lack of food, epidemics such as cholera, hypothermia, diarrhea and pneumonia. Secondly, we must ensure that the rhythm of children’s lives are restored and that they get back to school as soon as possible,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander says, “Typhoon Koppu’s slow moving path includes mountainous and hard-to-reach areas, we are concerned about the wellbeing of all affected children. UNICEF is ready to move with response as soon as asked by the Government.”

While reports from affected areas are trickling in, UNICEF’s emergency experts foresee needs in restoration of safe water supply for flooded areas, health and nutrition specifically support for breastfeeding mothers and new born children, and resumption of children’s education. UNICEF has prepositioned supplies for about 12,000 families which include water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicines, school supplies, therapeutic food, tents and generators.

UNICEF appeals for $2.8M for replenishment of supplies. Typhoon Koppu is the 12th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year. The country typically experiences over 20 typhoons a year. This year is predicted to bring more intense typhoons in the latter part as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. Currently, there is another Typhoon, named Champi, looming on the Philippines.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work please visit www.unicef.org.

Please visit UNICEF Philippines website, Facebook and Twitter.

For further information, please contact:

Clare Herbert, UNICEF Ireland, Tel: + 353 1 878 3000, Mobile: + 353 87 9421281, clare@unicef.ie.

Zafrin Chowdhury, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 77, Mobile: +63 917 867 8366, zchowdhury@unicef.org

Marge Francia, Communication Officer, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901 01 73, Mobile: +63 917 858 9447, mfrancia@unicef.org