Thursday, November 14, 2013

What your donation to UNICEF buys Yolanda's victims

I'm sure everyone is doing their part to help the victims of the horrific Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that obliterated Central Visayas and Palawan last weekend. I'm happy to report that all my cousins and aunts and uncles and their kids who live in Leyte (Tacloban, Palo and Tolosa) and Samar (Llorente) are alive. They have nothing left but we are just all so happy they are alive!

Anyway, like I said, I'm confident we are all doing our part to help our fellow Filipinos. It's encouraging to see people donating goods, volunteering to pack these goods, driving all the way to Leyte and other affected areas to distribute these goods, giving money to relief agencies, volunteering their services as doctor or nurse, spreading information. One of the many agencies I trust is UNICEF. Here's their update four days ago:

Therapeutic food for children, health kits, water and hygiene kits to support up to 3,000 families in the affected areas have already been mobilized from supplies available in the country, with distribution prioritized for the Tacloban area as soon as access is possible.

"We are rushing to get critical supplies to children who are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications. But we are working around the clock to find ways to get these supplies to children as quickly as conditions allow."

UNICEF’s warehouse in Copenhagen is airlifting US$1.3 million worth of additional supplies for another 10,000 families, including those affected by the recent earthquake in Bohol. The shipments contain water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micronutrient supplements.

"As we get a better picture of the impact of this devastating crisis, it is clear that even more children are affected than first thought," said Mr. Hozumi. "UNICEF is doing all it can to reach these children, as quickly as possible with critical supplies, to protect their health, safety and wellbeing in the difficult days ahead."

Here's what a sample kit looks like:

Here's another more current report from UNICEF: "Aid is getting through." It details what happened in the first few days (blocked roads and floods prevented aid) but now that roads were finally cleared, they are now blocked by the survivors walking to look for aid. So aid is getting through! It's just chaotic now but our help is getting to the survivors! Don't lose hope! Let's keep on giving!

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