The United Nations (UN) and different governments worldwide are working as fast as they can to send emergency relief to the survivors in the central part of the Philippines devastated by super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda. The organization is expecting the worst from the disaster as government officials estimated a death toll of more than 10,000 people. Super Typhoon Haiyan is considered the deadliest recorded calamity in the history of the Philippines since 1976 when the southern part of the country suffered from a tsunami triggered by a 7.9 earthquake that killed between 5,000 to 8,000 people.
The World Extends Help for Typhoon Survivors
According to officials of the Philippine government, approximately 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the super typhoon. The United Nations and other countries such as the United States and United Kingdom immediately organized emergency relief operations after learning that the super typhoon causes unimaginable destruction in the Philippines.
The humanitarian division of the United Nations released an initial emergency fund of $25 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the organization for immediate relief efforts in the Philippines. “The devastation has been huge […] all of our efforts are on mobilizing very quickly and on responding on an equally massive scale,” said Johh Ging, director of operations, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urgently responded to deliver emergency supplies such as therapeutic food for children, kits containing health, water and hygiene supplies to areas wreaked by the super typhoon. The UNICEF used the supplies already available in the Philippines for 3,000 families. In addition, the agency would airlift supplies worth $1.3 million from its warehouse in Copenhagen to support 10,000 families.
“We are rushing to get critically needed supplies to children who are bearing the brunt of this crisis. Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications. But we are working around the clock to find ways to get these supplies to children as quickly as conditions allow,” said Tomoo Hozumi, representative of UNICEF to the Philippines.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) airlifted 44 metric tons of high-energy biscuits enough to feed 120,000 people affected by the disaster in the Philippines. Bill Campbell, officer-in-charge of WFP in Dubai said, “The high-energy biscuits are precious in the early stages of an emergency as they are nutritious, need no cooking and are easy to transport.” The agency also provided communications equipment and emergency supplies.
The United States government is providing $20 million in assistance for the people affected by the super typhoon. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), $10, million will be allocated for food assistance and $10 million for emergency supplies. According to the agency, approximately 10,000 families will receive support tomorrow or over the next few days. USAID also deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team to evaluate the damage in the Philippines.
The U.S. also sent military assistance to the Philippines and U.S. Embassy in the country provided $100,000 for water and sanitation support.
The United Kingdom increased its assistance to £10 million; it is sending a Royal Navy warship & a RAF C-17 transporter plane to help the Philippine government in its relief operation. “Britain is contributing £10m and HMS Daring, currently deployed near Singapore, will shortly be heading at full speed towards the disaster zone with further support from an RAF C-17 which will be a powerful help to the relief operation,” according to Prime Minister Cameron
Australia is sending $10 million worth of supplies including medical personnel, non-food items such as hygiene kits, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins, and water containers. Canada promised as much as $5 million, China pledged $200,000, the European Commission will provide €3 million, New Zealand will donate NZ$2.15 million. Indonesia is dispatching aircraft and logistic aid including personnel, food generators, antibiotics and other medication as well as drinking water. Japan is sending an emergency medical team to the Philippines.