Philippines

UNICEF stands ready to support the government in responding to children and families affected by Tropical Storm Vinta

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A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Vinta in Lala, Lanao del Norte. © UNICEF Philippines/2017/Jeoffrey Maitem

MANILA/COTABATO CITY, Philippines, 24 December 2017—UNICEF is closely monitoring the situation of children and families affected by tropical storm Vinta as it leaves the Philippines Area of Responsibility with reports indicating rising casualties in different areas affected.

Water, sanitation, care and management of injuries and access to food are the most immediately and life-saving needs.

UNICEF team out of the Mindanao Field Office is working around the clock with partners on the ground to assess the extent of damage and loss.

UNICEF stands ready to deliver lifesaving water, sanitation and hygiene supplies upon request. UNICEF’s prepositioned water and sanitation supplies, that are ready to move, include water kits for families, large water bladders for community use, water purification tablets, jerry cans, and tents.

Of particular concern are the internally displaced in camps, communities already vulnerable from Marawi conflict who are once again affected. Tents were easily destroyed by the winds and rain and drove families to seek shelter elsewhere.

Lanao del Sur has been badly hit. UNICEF is present in some of the affected areas and will continue to monitor and maintain close contacts with local authorities.

In any emergency, children are among the most vulnerable. UNICEF’s first priority is to ensure children’s lives are saved and protected. To ensure that children are not in danger of contaminated water sources, lack of food, and epidemics, among others which often follow in the wake of a natural disaster.

“Our heart goes out to the children and families affected and made vulnerable by storm Vinta at this time of the year when majority of Filipinos are getting ready to celebrate Christmas. UNICEF stands ready to support the Government and partners to address risks on children’s life and health and alleviate suffering of affected communities as best as we can,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.