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U.N. secretary-general pledges to assist in typhoon recovery

Dec. 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

TACLOBAN, Philippines, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Philippine city of Tacloban Saturday and pledged to help people affected by the typhoon, the United Nations said.

"I'm deeply saddened and humbled by what I have seen -- the immense loss of life and total destruction," he said.

Tacloban bore the brunt of the Typhoon Haiyan, which hit Nov. 8, killing nearly 6,000 peoples and affected 14 million.

"As secretary-general of the United Nations, I'm here to convey my strongest solidarity and that of the United Nations and the international community," Ban said. "My message to the Filipino people is: Never despair. The United Nations is behind you. The world is behind you," Ban said in a news conference.

Ban said that the United Nations has deployed staff to work in the Philippines, and said the organization will provide nearly $800 million over 12 months.

"This will be just to complement what your people, your government, will do. We will try to provide life-saving support -- water, sanitation, food, and shelter -- and also a long-term development strategy," he said.

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