As the Philippines struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, concern remains high for children and those living in the rural—many of whom are still piecing together their lives following the recent earthquake in Bohol, says Plan International.
The typhoon, which ripped through the country yesterday, has left in its wake a trail of devastation, with hundreds of casualties predicted.
The typhoon has toppled power lines, disabled communication networks, torn apart homes and infrastructure, displaced children and families, destroyed agriculture, triggered storm surges and floods and caused casualties—making it difficult for Plan staff to reach the affected areas.
Carin van der Hor, Plan International’s Country Director in the Philippines, says:
“The Philippines is living between disasters. We've seen floods, numerous typhoons and then an earthquake in Bohol. People who were still in tents were evacuated after Typhoon Haiyan struck, as their tent cities were flooded and because the winds were so dangerous.“
Due to communications being down, it’s still difficult to know the true scale of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. We are bracing ourselves for the worst.“
Those living in remote areas remain on our priority list, as are children. Children are always badly affected by disasters like this; some will lose their lives, or lose parents, siblings and extended families. Everything that is familiar and safe is disrupted or destroyed, including homes, schooling and family livelihoods. Some of these children will witness things no child should have to see."
Plan has prepositioned 4,000 water kits and 4,000 pieces of plastic sheeting so if roads become impassable items can be quickly distributed by the community to those in need of water and shelter. These can serve about 20,000 people. In addition, there are similar numbers of kits in reserve for further distributions. Additional procurement is underway.
Haiyan could be even more devastating than Typhoon Bopha, which lashed the Philippines in 2012, killing at least 1,146 people and leaving more than $1 billion dollars worth of damage.
On average 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, with 2 or 3 of them devastating. Haiyan is the most powerful this year.
It is thought that all of Plan Philippines’ program units, home to about 40,000 sponsored children, have been affected.
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