UN humanitarian chief calls for support to Philippines after devastating TyphoonListen /
The top UN Humanitarian official has expressed extreme sadness by the reports of loss of life and terrible scenes of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines.
A statement from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, says there are varying estimates of the number of people killed, including at least 1,200 according to the Philippines Red Cross. She said sadly, it is likely that this figure will rise. The Government estimates that some 4.3 million people are affected, across 36 provinces, and initial assessments show that thousands of homes have been destroyed, roads are impassable and people need food, water, shelter and power. Ms. Amos says that as more areas are reached, “we expect to get a more detailed picture of the scale of destruction and the impact on families”.
She says the Government has already set up temporary shelters, has flown in and distributed basic supplies and has scaled up search and rescue operations. The United Nations agencies in the Philippines, with their humanitarian partners, are supporting the Government and other responders in their efforts to assess the situation and respond rapidly with vital supplies, through the coordination system led by the local authorities.
Ms. Amos says she has deployed a large UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, some of whom arrived Saturday in Tacloban, one of the worst affected areas in Leyte province, where they are coordinating closely with the authority.
She says the United Nations remains on standby to mobilize any support that the people of the Philippines require from the international community.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.