(Manila, 21 November 2013) Concluding her mission to review the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, commended the rapid scale-up and impact of national and international assistance efforts, but warned that the relief effort is going to be complex and long-running, and many people still need more help.
"Having visited Tacloban, Roxas and Guiuan this week it is clear that if we are to reach everyone we need to provide complementary types of support. Assistance to typhoon-affected areas where the shelter needs are significant, continued emergency assistance to areas devastated by the typhoon and storm surge; 'early recovery' work to assist agriculture and help restore livelihoods and get local economies moving again; and support to the Government's post-disaster needs assessment for longer term reconstruction," said Ms. Amos.
Over 2.6 million people have so far received food supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners. Clean water and sanitation have been restored in many areas by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). Health clinics and hospitals are being mapped and reopened by the Government with the World Health Organization (WHO). Shelter materials including tents, plastic sheeting and materials to help with home reconstruction are being distributed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM). And local and international partners, including the Philippines Red Cross, have also reached substantial numbers of people.
"With the relief now flowing, people are starting to get back on their feet," noted Ms. Amos. "I saw people cooking and selling items in the street, fixing their homes, and clearing roads. At the same time there are still many areas such as Guiuan where almost no assistance has got through to people yet. We still have a huge amount to do and will be standing with and working alongside the Philippines people for as long as it takes."
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