Philippines Government and humanitarian partners call for over $300 million to help communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan
(Manila/New York, 12 November 2013): United Nations Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos today arrived in the Philippines to see for herself the massive destruction left in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda). She participated in the launch of the humanitarian response plan, which seeks US$301 million to cover immediate life-saving needs for the millions of people affected by the disaster.
"Millions of families have had their lives torn apart by Typhoon Haiyan. They have lost everything and desperately need help now," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. "I am concerned that there are thousands of people who need help that we have not been able to reach. The scale of the destruction is shocking. We must make every effort to reach people."
More than 11 million people are estimated to be affected, mostly in the Eastern and Western Visayas region, with many homes destroyed and over 670,000 people known to be displaced. Thousands of people have died in one city alone, according to local government officials.
The Philippines Government is leading the massive relief operation, and UN and NGO partners are supporting their efforts. It is still too early to tell the full scale of the destruction, but it is clear that the needs are huge and that much more needs to be done. A massive aid operation is required to help the Government respond to this crisis.
"I commend the Philippines Government for their relief efforts so far, under extremely challenging circumstances, and hope the international community will give generously to the humanitarian response. The UN and its partners remain committed to supporting the Government and the Filipino people in any way required - now and in the longer-term when communities will need to be rebuilt," said Ms. Amos.
Tomorrow, USG Amos plans to travel to Tacloban, one of the areas worst affected by the typhoon, to see for herself the scale of the destruction, and meet with affected communities and emergency workers on the ground. During her visit, Ms. Amos will also meet the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, government officials and representatives of the humanitarian community in the country.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.