NEW YORK 9 November 2013. As the full impact is being assessed of Typhoon Haiyan, which tore through the Philippines over the last 48 hours, children are expected to be amongst the most affected with some 1.7 million children believed to be living in the areas hit by the emergency.
"With some 36 provinces reported by the government to have been hit by the typhoon - the strongest ever to have made landfall anywhere in the world - we know that a significant number of children will have been badly affected," said UNICEF's representative in the Philippines Tomoo Hozumi.
"UNICEF’s first priorities are focused on life-saving interventions – getting essential medicines, nutrition supplies, safe water and hygiene supplies to children and families," he stressed. "This is not the first natural disaster to strike the Philippines recently, following the earthquake in Bohol three weeks ago, so we know how vital it is to reach children quickly."
UNICEF will join a rapid assessment within the next days, as conditions allow more access to the hardest hit regions. The agency’s supply systems are mobilized and UNICEF is ready with NGO partners to help spearhead the response for children as access improves.
UNICEF staff already in the Philippines are being repositioned to deliver emergency response, with more colleagues on the way to boost teams already on the ground.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.
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