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Late treatment for many Philippine typhoon victims: WHO
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Dec 03, 2013

UN launches fresh Philippines typhoon aid appeal
Manila (AFP) Dec 03, 2013 - The United Nations refugee agency has launched a fresh appeal for emergency aid for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which smashed into the Philippines last month, leaving nearly 7,500 people dead or missing.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it now needs $19.2 million to address "primary protection issues" for devastated communities, more than double the $8.3 million it has raised so far.

"Almost a month after the typhoon, its effects show no sign of abating," said Bernard Kerblat, UNHCR representative in the Philippines.

"Today, more than ever, protection and humanitarian assistance are needed to ensure that no more lives will be taken by the consequences of this devastating typhoon."

Tens of thousands of families remain displaced and an estimated 5,000 people are believed to be fleeing the hard-hit central islands of Leyte and Samar every day for the country's main cities of Manila and Cebu, he said in a statement.

The typhoon, one of the strongest in Philippine history, unleashed 315-kilometre (195-mile) per-hour winds and tsunami-like storm surges across the central islands on November 8, killing 5,680 people, with 1,779 others still missing.

It wrecked dozens of towns and left more than four million survivors needing emergency assistance, including 125,000 who remain in evacuation centres, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Tuesday.

The beefed-up aid appeal launched Monday by the refugee agency is aimed at distributing more life-saving supplies, including 98,600 plastic sheets, 7,500 tents and 19,000 solar lanterns, among other items.

The UN announced last week that it would shortly increase its overall appeal, which currently stands at a total of $348 million, of which about half has been raised.

"This new (UNHCR) appeal will form part of the upcoming UN aid appeal," Johanna Morden, external relations associate for the UNHCR told AFP.

Many people who suffered serious injuries when a super typhoon devastated the central Philippines have had to wait nearly a month for treatment, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

"With some of the more remote areas now accessible, we're... seeing a second wave of people reaching hospitals with injuries," WHO's Philippines representative, Julie Hall, said in a statement nearly four weeks after the disaster.

Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed some local hospitals, debris blocking access to many of those still working, when it slashed across the central islands on November 8, requiring the air evacuation of some of the injured to Manila and other cities.

The government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council now lists 26,233 people injured, which the WHO Western Pacific in Manila said were the same figures it is using.

The official figure had stood at just 12,500 in mid-November, a week after the typhoon swept out of the region.

The official death toll stands at 5,680, with 1,779 other people listed as missing.

"Hospitals in Manila and across the affected region are already treating around 20 people with spinal cord injuries, dozens with amputations and many more with serious fractures," Hall said.

WHO is working with the Philippine health ministry on the emergency health response, sending more than 60 foreign medical teams to storm-hit towns to revive medical services, as well as provide rehabilitation therapy and mental health assistance, Hall added.

Foreign governments and international aid organisations also put up field hospitals and other medical facilities in some of the worst-hit areas.

The Philippines is struck by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, but Haiyan's 315-kilometre (195-mile) an hour winds and tsunami-like storm surges made it stand out for sheer ferocity.

Hall warned that disasters like Haiyan can create a new generation of people with disabilities when the injured do not always have timely access to medical and rehabilitation services.

The WHO is also concerned about the welfare of those already living with disabilities prior to the disaster, who are more vulnerable in emergencies, are less able to escape from hazards, and often lose essential medications or assistive devices, Hall said.

"Items like glasses, hearing aids and wheel chairs were swept away by the storm or left behind by people trying to flee," Hall said.

"One can only imagine the terror of being caught in a storm of this magnitude and not being able to run for cover or see a path to safety."


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UN to seek more aid for Philippines typhoon displaced
Manila (AFP) Nov 29, 2013
The United Nations is to seek more international aid to shelter and give temporary jobs to millions displaced by the Philippines' deadliest typhoon in history, officials said Friday. "Providing shelter and rebuilding lives is an urgent priority," said UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Luiza Carvalho, laying out the state of dozens of towns and cities three weeks after they were ravage ... read more

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