(Manila, 14 November 2013): The United Nations Under-Secretary-General (USG) and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Valerie Amos, today spoke of the need for a sustained and collective response by the international community to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda).
Yesterday, USG Amos travelled to Tacloban, one of the worst affected areas, where she spoke to survivors who were homeless, and waiting for relief supplies to reach them. “I saw a city completely devastated from storm surge waves that came in like a tsunami,” she said. “Tens of thousands of people are living in the open or sheltering in the remains of their homes and badly damaged public buildings, exposed to rain and wind. Many have lost loved ones and are traumatized by their experience. Our focus is now on scaling up our efforts.”
The delivery of aid has been hampered by a series of logistical challenges. While most airports have now reopened, electricity and power are still to be restored in some areas. Many roads are covered in debris and there are fuel shortages. However, as each hour and day passes, more aid is reaching people affected.
Aircraft with life-saving supplies, including 2,500 metric tons of WFP high-energy biscuits arrived in Tacloban on Wednesday (13 November). “Today and in the next few days things will get even better as our capacity increases,” said Ms. Amos. “We know that much more is required.”
In her meetings with President Benigno Aquino III, and senior Government officials who are leading response efforts, USG Amos assured them of the humanitarian community’s continued commitment to support.
"We constantly about the resilience of the Filipino people,” said Ms. Amos. “Yesterday, I saw it personally. People with absolutely nothing are doing their best to regain some degree of normality. We must do all we can to ensure they receive the help they desperately need.”
For further information, please contact:
Órla Fagan, Public Information Officer, Philippines, +63 9166 364248, email@example.com Matt Cochrane, Public Information Officer, Philippines +63 9065 723983, firstname.lastname@example.org (In Tacloban, from 15 Nov) Eva Modvig, Public Information Officer, Philippines, +63 9052454932, email@example.com
For more information about OCHA please see: www.unocha.org/crisis/typhoonhaiyan
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.