Philippines: Medical supplies arriving in Visayas, severe damage to the fisheries and agriculture sectors reported
Relief efforts are on the way in the areas in which Typhoon Yolanda ravaged, places like Tacloban and Cebu, to include food, water and medical supplies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that field hospitals, medical personnel, medicines and other medical supplies are arriving in the Philippines as countries and nongovernmental organizations around the world come to the support of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Within 3 days of Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines, field hospitals with medical teams from Belgium, Israel, Norway and Japan are currently on the ground. More teams from Australia and Germany are expected today and tomorrow.
WHO has already deployed medicines and supplies to perform 400 surgeries and cover the basic health needs of 120 000 people for one month. Special diarrheal disease kits with medicines and supplies to treat 3000 cases of acute diarrhea are also en route, since contaminated water is a frequent cause of diarrhea.
UNICEF reported earlier that up to 4 million children could be affected by the devastation caused by Yolanda.
“We are rushing to get critical supplies to children who are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications. But we are working around the clock to find ways to get these supplies to children as quickly as conditions allow.”
Therapeutic food for children, health kits, water and hygiene kits to support up to 3,000 families in the affected areas have already been mobilized from supplies available in the country, with distribution prioritized for the Tacloban area as soon as access is possible.
In addition to the immediate human toll due to Typhoon Yolanda, the FAO is reporting “severe damage to the fisheries and agriculture sectors” in the wake of the super-typhoon.
“The super typhoon Haiyan has left a trail of destruction and thousands of lives have been lost. The devastation caused in the country, including in the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, puts the lives and livelihoods of many more at risk and can have a wider effect on the food supply chain and food security”, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.
FAO called for $24 million for immediate interventions in fisheries and agriculture as part of the UN-coordinated humanitarian Flash Appeal launched today.