Today, UNICEF UK has launched an emergency appeal for funding to support its response to Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. With an estimated 9.5 million people affected, approximately 4 million of them children, UNICEF is rushing urgent supplies to areas most ravaged by Haiyan – the strongest typhoon ever to have made landfall in the world.

The severe impact of the storm has already caused substantial loss of life and damage to infrastructure. UNICEF is responding to children’s most urgent needs, chartering cargo planes to airlift essential health items such as penicillin and oral rehydration tablets, as well as water pumps and generators which are crucial to getting the local water supply working again. Providing clean water is one of the most important steps in preventing an outbreak of diseases, which can be deadly in the aftermath of natural disasters. 

UNICEF has already sent enough supplies to meet the needs of 13,000 families, including water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micronutrient supplements. Getting these supplies to the worst affected areas is the biggest priority. UNICEF has roughly 70 people already working round the clock in the Philippines on this emergency response.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham said:

"My heart goes out to everyone affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. I was in Manila with UNICEF just two years ago and saw how vulnerable to natural disasters the country is. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, roads are impassable and children and their families need food, water, shelter and power right now. UNICEF estimates that 4 million children could be affected by the disaster and are stepping up their emergency response. Children need your help. Please support UNICEF’s work for children affected by this terrible disaster - visit unicef.org.uk"

UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull said: 

"UNICEF UK responded immediately to the tragedy in the Philippines and has already transferred nearly £300,000 to help our teams on the ground to reach those children whose lives have been thrown into chaos by this super-storm. They need our help now and we are responding with an immediate airlift of water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micronutrient supplements. A gift of £30 could help provide three families in the Philippines with basic water kits, which will help to keep them alive in the immediate aftermath of this horrific disaster."

Please support UNICEF’s work for children affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Visit www.unicef.org.uk/typhoon or text UNICEF to 70123 to donate £3

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Notes for editors:
For all multi-media products, including b-roll and photo, please visit:  http://weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources

For an eye witness account please visit: http://unicefeapro.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/typhoon-haiyan-field-diary-they-is.html

For more information please contact Gemma Parkin, UNICEF UK Media Relations, Email: gemmap@unicef.org.uk / Tel: +44(0)207 375 6084 / out of hours +44 (0)207 375 6030 

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk