UN appeals for $65 million to assist victims of Typhoon Bopha in the PhilippinesListen /
Nearly five million people have been affected by Typhoon Bopha which hit eastern Mindanao region in the Philippines a week ago.
Assessments done by United Nations relief agencies indicate that many survivors are so desperate that they have left the overcrowded and flooded emergency shelters to return to their storm- ravaged homes.
UN agencies say they require US $65 million to provide urgent assistance to over half a million people affected by the storm.
Marixie Mercado is the UNICEF spokesperson in Geneva.
"The most urgent needs are for food, water, shelter and protection. Many families are sleeping in crowded shelters; others are sleeping out in the open or with makeshift cover near their homes. Many water systems are damaged or contaminated. Preliminary estimates are that up to 150,000 children and 35,000 pregnant or lactating mothers are at acute nutritional risk. Psychosocial support is also quickly emerging as an urgent priority among the population that was totally unprepared for the destructive power of the typhoon. Assessment teams report many adults staring blankly unable to assist with recovery efforts and children are left unattended and have been seen crying and begging at roadsides."
The death toll from Typhoon Bopha now stands at 650 with over 780 still missing.
UNICEF says about 40 per cent of the affected population are children.
Patrick Maigua United Nations, Geneva.