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Up to 1.7 million children could be affected by devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines: UNICEF

2013-11-09

TORONTO,  November 9, 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.

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

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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.