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Help is coming, with obstacles, to the Philippines

There are difficulties to get aid to some of the most affected areas.

By José De Bastos
Help is coming, with obstacles, to the Philippines
Devastation has been enormous around the Philippines (WFP/Praveen Agrawal)

(UPI) -- While the U.S. Marines, the United Nations, the European Union, the Vatican and many countries around the world pledged help for victims of the devastation that typhoon Haiyan left in the Philippines, certain obstacles have prevented aid from reaching those most in need.

The Philippines Red Cross said Sunday that one of their convoys headed to Tacloban, one of the most affected cities, had to turn back because of a collapsed bridge. The poor conditions of many main roads, lack of electricity and the desperation of victims may complicate the relief efforts.

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The national government announced on Monday that military personnel were being deployed in some areas where there was violence and looting during the weekend. "The delivery of food, water, and medicine to the most heavily affected areas is at the head of our priorities,” said President Benigno Aquino III in a televised statement.

Meanwhile, the United Nations humanitarian office informed that an initial $25 million were being delivered in quick response for the devastation “to enable humanitarian agencies to mobilize their response quickly,” John Ging, Director of the Operation Division for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. “Devastation has been huge (…) all of our efforts are on mobilizing very quickly and on responding on an equally massive scale.”

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RELATED Death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rises to 1,744 in Philippines

Most supplies are expected to arrive to the country Tuesday although access to some of the most isolated areas might prove difficult. 230 U.S. Marines are already on the ground, and more special teams are expected to arrive, according to the State Department.

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