New York, NY (PRWEB) November 12, 2013
UNICEF is urgently appealing for $34 million to aid the more than four million children of the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which ripped through the archipelago four days ago.
The enormity of the needs facing children is becoming clearer every day. Many of the regions slammed by Typhoon Haiyan are reportedly without electricity, clean water, food and medicine.
“With every day that goes by, thousands of children are becoming weaker and more vulnerable to disease,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines. “The collapse of water and sanitation systems, and destruction of homes and schools, all are putting children at huge risk and in need of urgent help.”
The appeal is a first estimate of the requirements needed to help children and their families survive and recover. It is expected to cover the first six months of relief efforts.
Some UNICEF supplies have already been delivered, including portable toilets to hard-hit Tacloban. A truck hauling hygiene supplies (including soap, detergent and personal hygiene items), education materials and recreational materials is also making its way to the area.
Water, sanitation and hygiene services have been almost completely wiped out, with pipelines flooded and lack of electricity making water pumping and treatment impossible. Safe water is essential to protect children from diseases that, when coupled with malnutrition, can be deadly.
UNICEF is purchasing 10,000 water kits and 10,500 family water kits locally, as well as water tablets for 6.3 million liters of water. From its global supply warehouse in Copenhagen, UNICEF is sending over 20 generators to power water treatment plants. Over 1,200 water quality testing kits are also being sent, as well as collapsible water containers. UNICEF Philippines is currently in the process of moving 10,000 packs of water purification tablets, 3,000 hygiene kits and two water treatment units into affected areas.
UNICEF hygiene specialists will also provide technical advice on appropriate alternatives to toilets, and, safe solid and liquid waste disposal, and water surveillance in order to offset the advance of disease outbreaks. UNICEF will assist in promoting menstrual hygiene management and gender separate facilities at learning centers and spaces.
With many health facilities and birthing clinics destroyed, health care services will be stretched, and there will be particular threats from maternal and neonatal mortality.
An estimated 100,000 children under the age of five, and 60,000 pregnant or nursing mothers were displaced by Haiyan. Interruptions in maternal and child feeding routines like breastfeeding, combined with damage to water and sanitation systems, have put younger children at serious risk of malnutrition, especially in high-poverty areas where families were already struggling to survive.
UNICEF is rushing 30 emergency health kits, each one for a population of 1,000 people for three months. The organization is also sending folic acid and antibiotics for adults and children. UNICEF will set up therapeutic feeding centers to treat severe acute malnutrition in children. Ready to use therapeutic food (peanut paste) and 1.35 million sachets of micronutrient powder are also en route.
An estimated 2.8 million preschool and school aged children may have been driven from their homes. In the hardest hit area of Region 8: Eastern Visayas, more than 3,000 schools and 2,400 day care centers appear to be affected. Destruction of homes and schools during disasters, and the resulting mass displacement of communities and families, is known to leave children at risk of abuse and exploitation.
UNICEF has delivered 1,860 tarpaulins—reinforced plastic sheeting—and 72 tents which may be used for schools and safe spaces, and is seeking funding to establish safe learning spaces so that children can get back to learning and parents can be reassured that their children are safe during the day. UNICEF will help set up recovery programs, including training thousands of teachers and day care workers in how to use play and art work to help children overcome the trauma they have experienced.
UNICEF is also working with local authorities to identify and register children who may be separated from their families. UNICEF will use funding to support strengthening national, regional, and local government bodies, including local and barangay councils for the welfare of children since these institutions have been weakened during previous emergencies.
How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038
As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.
Find us on Twitter: @unicefusa, #Haiyan; join us on Facebook: UNICEF-USA
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.
For additional information, please contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, 646.428.5010, smasur(at)unicefusa(dot)org
Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, asioris(at)unicefusa(dot)org