UN Chief pledges to mobilize resources for Philippines recovery efforts

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Visiting Tacloban, Philippines, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon surveys damage left by Typhoon Haiyan. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Visiting Tacloban, Philippines, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon surveys damage left by Typhoon Haiyan. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The United Nations is trying to mobilize at least $800 million in resources over the next twelve months to assist in Philippine's recovery from Super Typhoon Haiyan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Saturday.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon was on an official visit to the island nation since 19 December, to personally assess the devastation caused by the disaster.

He made his remarks in the storm-ravaged city of Tacloban, in central Philippines, the last leg of his three-day visit.

The Secretary-General pledged to try to provide "life-saving support" including food, water, sanitation, shelter and a long-term development strategy.

"I have discussed [this] at length with President Aquino this morning, how the United Nations and the Member States of the United Nations, including the Philippines, can work together to strengthen our capacity to reduce disasters. We may not prevent this storm, but at least we can reduce and minimize the loss of life, the damage of our properties, valuable properties. That’s what I’m going to [sound the] alarm [to] the world again, send out strong messages to the world, and I’ll try to focus, have the world focus, on reconstruction and resettlement of your country and of your community."

Tacloban has a strong international presence, Mr. Ban noted, with many international partners sending "their helping hands" such as engineering and military rescue teams.

He commended the people of the Philippines for their resilience and reiterated the UN's commitment to keep the world focused on the recovery effort in the Philippines.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

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