UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham has been in the Philippines this week to meet children and families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the super-storm that left thousands dead and 1.7 million children homeless.
"As a father, it was deeply moving to meet children as young as two who were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing when sea and storm water swept through their villages during the typhoon," said David, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005.
He visited a UNICEF child friendly space, which provides crucial psychosocial support in the aftermath of an emergency. David also visited a health centre, where he was lucky enough to vaccinate a two-month-old baby girl against polio. At Santo Niño School in Tanauan, David took part in classes and played football with pupils. Thanks to UNICEF and its partners, some 420,000 children from the worst hit areas are now back in school, in makeshift and tent schools.
"Children who were caught up in Haiyan are still traumatised by their experience and need ongoing assistance," said Beckham. "UNICEF delivered life-saving supplies when the typhoon hit and they will now stay as long as they are needed and won't let children down."
David thanked the public for their generous support of the Philippines emergency. However, he urged people to not forget Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, where UNICEF is working round the clock to protect children in emergencies.
"Even though some of these crises don’t make the headlines, we should not forget these children in desperate circumstances and I urge the public to do all they can, as they have done incredibly in the past, to help organisations like UNICEF go the extra mile for these kids every day."
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