People in Philippines still in need of support 100 days after typhoon

Feb. 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM
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MANILA, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Millions of people in the Philippines are still in need of urgent assistance 100 days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the island nation, the United Nations says.

"The authorities, U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations, and the Filipino people should be commended for the pace of progress that we have seen in the first 100 days. But we cannot afford to be complacent," said Luiza Carvalho, U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator for the Philippines.

Carvalho commended the government of the Philippines for its response to the Nov. 8 storm that killed nearly 6,000 people and left 4.1 million others displaced. She also noted that the United Nations and its partners helped provide food, medicine, water and sanitation and hygiene assistance to those in need.

"We distributed tents and tarpaulins so that 500,000 families would have some form of a roof over their heads and implemented emergency employment programs that helped them get back on their feet and pumped money into local economies," she said, adding that while ensuring that farmers were able to go back to their fields in time to plant, the U.N. and partners also helped remove more than 500,000 cubic meters of debris from hard-hit Tacloban alone.

"[Yet] the need for durable shelter for millions of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed is critical," Carvalho said. "As the Philippines marks 100 days since the devastating super typhoon struck ... we are supporting the authorities to help survivors find closure and ensure that the affected regions build back better and safer so that the next massive storm does not bring the terrible levels of devastation that we saw with Haiyan."

"Our achievements in the first 100 days of the response were made possible by generous donor contributions for the relief phase of our plan," Carvalho said. "The Filipino people in the affected areas deserve our continued support as they remain determined to recover in the face of immense obstacles and personal tragedy."

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