UNICEF expressed great concern over the growing number of children and families affected by the heightened activity of Mt. Mayon, which now is hoisted to alert level 4. Data from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) revealed over 40,000 people have been relocated to around 24 evacuation centers.
"Our hearts go out to the thousands of children and families who have been affected by the eruption and are now spending their Christmas in an evacuation centre. We are relieved that there so far have been no casualties as a result of the government's preparedness strategy," Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Representative, said.
Of the 24 evacuation centers, 20 are schools while another 53 schools are located within the 16 villages that are in the danger zone.
"UNICEF is concerned for the more than 24,000 children who have so far had their classes disrupted. We are therefore supporting the government by providing school tents and school packs to ensure that classes resume after the Christmas break, despite the emergency situation," Ma. Lourdes de Vera-Mateo, Chief of UNICEF Philippines' Education Section, said.
Included in the water kits are collapsible water containers, buckets, soap and water purification tablets and communication materials on hygiene. The medical kits include essential medicines and supplies such as oral rehydration salts, syringes, tetracycline eye ointment, paracetamol, amoxicillin, zinc, iron, among others.
UNICEF will continue to monitor the situation in constant coordination with the government and other humanitarian agencies.
You can make a donation to UNICEF's emergency efforts for children and families affected by the eruption. We are also accepting cash and cheque donations which can be deposited into our Metrobank account: UNICEF C/A 066-7-06631209-3. For donation inquiries, call (632) 758-1000 and 758-1442.