Aid delivery to Typhoon affected communities gathers pace: Valerie Amos

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Two young boys prepare to go to a UNICEF run “child friendly space” at the evacuation center © Jason Gutierez/IRIN

Twelve days after one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded made land fall in the Philippines, relief efforts have gathered pace, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

She said many of the logistical hurdles that hampered the response in the first days – roads clogged by debris, fuel shortages and lack of vehicles – are being addressed.

Ms. Amos visited Tacloban City and Guiuan, on the far eastern coast of Samar province, to assess progress on getting aid to communities left devastated in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

Speaking in Manila on Tuesday, Ms. Amos said “Major progress has been made clearing rubble and debris from roads in Tacloban," adding, “People are making every effort to rebuild their lives; women cooking and selling food; others were removing debris or providing support to their community.”

Over the last few days, significant food and medical assistance has been provided in Tacloban, and water services, as well as limited telecommunications services restored. All residents now have access to clean drinking water, and hygiene kits are being distributed.

According to Government estimates, a staggering four million people have been displaced by the storm. Some 2.5 million people require food assistance. Access to safe water remains a major challenge in many areas, including in island towns.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said “A massive relief operation has been mounted by the international community in support of the Government-led response", noting, "It will need to be sustained over the coming weeks and months.”

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’27″

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