UN Relief Chief: Much More Needed for Philippines

UN Relief Chief: Much More Needed for Philippines

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Larry Freund
November 22, 2013
Source:  VOA News
United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos (C), speaks to typhoon survivors at the airport in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos (C), speaks to typhoon survivors at the airport in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
“But much more needs to be done. Food, clean water and shelter remain the top priorities. Vast numbers of vulnerable people are still exposed to bad weather and need basic shelter and they are worried that the typhoon season has not yet ended,” she said. Amos said families that have lost their homes will need substantial longer term support from the international community. She added that 40 percent of her original appeal for $301 million for the Philippines has been funded so far. That goal has been raised to $348 million and she said she expects it will increase again in the weeks ahead. The Philippine government has faced some criticism for the pace of its response to the disaster, but the U.N. relief official said the Philippines has one of the best disaster management systems in the world. “But the sheer scale of this typhoon and the storm surge which accompanied it in some places would have tested any country. The logistical challenges have been enormous, with many roads blocked and airports unusable in the first few days,” she said. Amos said that despite forecasts of the approaching typhoon and its storm surge, some Filipinos did not understand the significance of the warning and might have been more prepared if the word “tsunami” had been used, even though the surge was not caused by an earthquake or volcano.