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As number of children affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan rises to 4 million, UNICEF steps up emergency response

2013-11-10

TORONTO, November 10, 2013 –  UNICEF is rushing emergency supplies to areas of the Philippines ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November, as the latest estimates indicate that up to 4 million children could now be affected by the disaster.

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. 

Children who have escaped the terrible violence of Haiyan still need urgent assistance to survive the aftermath of the storm. Particular concerns include health, due to the impact of the typhoon on water supply and sanitation systems. Children also need safe and protected spaces to be able to play and resume studying while adults work to recover their homes and livelihoods.

"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."

Canadians can support relief efforts by donating at www.unicef.ca and calling 1-877-955-3111.

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

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.