UN Humanitarian Office says water and shelter among urgent needs in the PhilippinesListen /
Despite obstacles including airport closures and downed bridges, UN agencies are rushing emergency assistance to the Philippines as it continues to emerge from Typhoon Haiyan.
That's according to the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office (OCHA) which reports that local officials say the death toll could reach as high as 10,000 in the worst-affected areas alone.
OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke, who spoke to UN Radio on Monday, says their teams on the ground describe the situation as devastating.
"We have spoken to the government who is in the lead of the operation, obviously. They have indicated to us that some of the most urgent sectors are in terms of shelter—people have had their houses blown away, simply. They need medical assistance, they need food, they need help with clearing roads and so on, they need logistics and they need water, drinking water, and they need sanitation and hygiene activities and relief." (25″)
Jens Laerke says the priority is to reach people in need but many areas remain inaccessible.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.