UN Appeals for Philippines Aid

The office of the coordinator of humanitarian affairs is asking for $74 million dollars to provide humanitarian releif to the Philippenes in the wake of Typhoon Ketsana.  John Holmes, the UN’s top humanitarian official, said the typhoon killed almost 300 people and badly damaged or destroyed almost 40,000 houses.  300,000 people still live in emergency evacuation centers.    From the UN News Center:

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 16,000 houses were destroyed by the storm and subsequent flooding, while a further 23,000 were partially damaged.

Some 400,000 people are living in emergency shelters around the hard-hit capital, Manila, 80 per cent of which is inundated, and many people expected to return to their homes once the water has receded.

To jumpstart the appeal, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said today that he has allocated $7 million for the Philippines emergency from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), set up to finance sudden-onset or under-funded crises.

The $74 million flash appeal, he said, is the largest ever for the Philippines, which is “no stranger to disasters and certainly to floods.”

It was developed in partnership with the Philippines National Disaster Management Agency, and appealing organizations include UN agencies, along with the Philippines National Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and others.

After one month when there is a clearer picture of humanitarian needs, the flash appeal will be revised.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is asking for $26 million as part of the larger $74 million appeal to fund its three-month emergency operation, already under way, to support the Government’s efforts by providing rice, beans and other food in the worst-hit areas of Manila and surrounding areas. The agency is also giving logistical support to allow humanitarian agencies to access remote areas.