Conditions still critical for typhoon victims in Philippines says UN

25 November 2009Nearly a month after back-to-back typhoons submerged villages across the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of people displaced or still living in flooded areas are in need of safe water, sanitation facilities and hygiene items, the United Nations humanitarian wing said today. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), some 46,000 homes were completely destroyed and 261,000 partially damaged after Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoons Parma and Mirinae swept through the country, bringing with them the heaviest torrential rains in 40 years and landslides that cut off contact with villages. OCHA said today that the humanitarian situation is still critical for people who were displaced by the typhoons and those living in submerged homes or areas inaccessible by landslides. As of 16 November, nearly 79,000 families, or more than 382,000 individuals, were still living in flooded areas in 871 villages.Emergency response projects are winding down and recovery programmes are taking over. The most recent figures from OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service show that the Revised Philippines Flash Appeal 2009 of nearly $144 million is 22 per cent funded at almost $31 million.This month, the World Food Programme (WFP) plans to distribute rice and high-energy biscuits in six regions. Preparations are also underway for WFP’s supplementary feeding programme. Starting in January, some 50,000 children between 6 and 24 months will receive a monthly take-home ration of fortified blended food, sugar and oil.Meanwhile, WFP is due to release its Emergency Food Security Assessment later this month. Various UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated in the assessment which was concluded on 20 November. The preliminary results have been incorporated into the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, an effort led by the World Bank to determine the extent of damage and loss, as well as identify measures for recovery and reconstruction. read more