Philippines: Typhoon Relief Update
November 15, 2013
Photo: Aerial image showing devastation by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, Central Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit/Marquez)
Poor communications, lack of power, and blocked transportation routes continue to make travel, information management and coordination difficult for the global humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan. Today's estimates from the Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) suggest over 11.8 million Filipinos have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan, with 4,460 reported deaths, 921,212 displaced, and over 243,000 homes destroyed. As humanitarian response teams continue to access remote communities, these numbers are expected to exponentially rise in the coming days and weeks.
UN-OCHA and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) have categorized Typhoon Haiyan's response needs at the highest level, urgently calling for the full mobilization of the humanitarian system to respond. Water, sanitation, shelter, and primary medical care continue to remain at the forefront of relief efforts, especially amongst those communities that remain inaccessible due to damaged infrastructure and transportation routes. According to the Philippines' Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health, "WASH facilities, measles vaccination campaigns, and restoration of cold chain facilities are priorities." Affected populations are increasingly at risk for outbreaks of acute respiratory infections, leptospirosis, tetanus and typhoid fever, requiring additional capacity on behalf of the humanitarian community to respond.
RMF’s teams are continuing to keep a strong pulse on the needs of those most affected by Typhoon Haiyan while compiling and assessing opportunities to support. We have been connecting with Filipino communities in the US and the Philippines and will provide an update on our response in the next few days. The coming weeks will be critical for our ability to provide life-saving, as well as long-term recovery and livelihood programs to support the Filipino communities affected.