Philippines

Over half a million children unable to return home a month after Philippines floods

Save the Children warns that more typhoons are expected in coming months

Over half a million children are still living in evacuation centres or with host families a month after floods triggered by Tropical Storm “Haikui” hit the Philippines.

Save the Children warns that the most severe typhoons have yet to hit this storm season. Already, three other tropical storms, Kai-Tak, Tembin and Bolaven, have lashed the country in the past month, causing flashfloods and landslides.

“We know that the most severe typhoons typically hit the Philippines in September and October. This means that it can only get worse for those families who are already suffering from the early storms,” said Anna Lindenfors, country director for Save the Children in the Philippines.

“Over 2.5 million children have been affected by the floods, many of them living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. In low-lying areas such as Laguna, families are afraid that their children may be forced to live in evacuation centres until Christmas. These evacuation centres are unfit for people to live in for such an extended period of time.”

“It is important that we address their needs now before more storms come. Children and their families need proper shelter, hygiene items, clean water supplies, household items and school materials.”

As of September 6th, 173,000 people are still living in over 500 evacuation centres, while 772,000 are living in host communities. Most of the evacuation centres are schools, which has disrupted the education of thousands of school-aged children.

“Nearly half of the children in badly affected areas are still not returning to schools – an indirect impact the floods have had on families’ livelihoods and living conditions. We know the longer children stay out of school, the more likely it is that they will dropout,” said Anna Lindenfors.

Save the Children has distributed pre-made relief packages, containing household materials, drinking water and hygiene items to flood-affected families in Bulacan, Laguna, Pampanga and Metro Manila. The children’s charity also held hygiene promotion sessions for families, distributed newborn kits and conducted breastfeeding promotion to lactating mothers. In addition, child-friendly spaces have been set up for children to play in and temporary learning spaces for school-aged children to resume classes.

-ENDS-

Note to Editors:

Save the Children has been working in the Philippines since 1981. In 2011, we directly reached 822,000 children across the country. We provide both humanitarian and long-term support, working closely with partners across the country. Save the Children addresses key issues of children in the country by implementing programmes in child protection, education, health and nutrition, child rights governance and also supports in times of humanitarian crises.