1M ‘Pablo’ victims still need food aid

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VOLUNTEERS and local government workers work 24 hours repacking relief goods at the provincial gymnasium in Mati City, Davao Oriental. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Nearly one million people remain in need of food assistance while relief organizations grapple to provide shelter to thousands amid funding gaps a month after a powerful typhoon swept through provinces rarely hit by storms in Mindanao.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Unocha) made the assessment in a situation report released on Thursday, which assessed local and international humanitarian response in provinces hit by Typhoon “Pablo” in early December.

The UN agency reported that only 21 percent, or roughly a fifth of the UN’s initial appeal for $65 million in aid for Pablo victims, has been filled with $13 million in total international donations and up to $7 million in pledges.

“Between 800,000 and one million people are in need of food assistance in the worst affected areas,” said Unocha in the report.

Of this number, some 238,000 persons have received family food packs in the severely affected provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, the UN agency said, citing data from the World Food Program and the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development.

School feeding programs are also set to be launched in public schools in severely hit areas through the Department of Education, said Unocha.

The report said agencies involved in providing shelter for displaced families were facing challenges in pursuing their programs.

“Agencies report severe funding constraints and are unable to expand their programs,” said Unocha.

The accurate number of affected homes also “remain difficult to ascertain” given conflicting reports from the field, said the UN agency.

This as displaced families face “poor living conditions, including congestion, lack of safe communal areas, lack of electricity and protection concerns,” the agency said.

Unocha further warned that families that lost their homes were facing secondary displacement as classes have resumed in schools being used as evacuation centers.

“There is a need to build and identify alternative displacement sites for families who are living in public schools,” said the agency.

Unocha also cited the “unequal humanitarian response” to affected families in the Caraga region in northeastern Mindanao, which was earlier attributed to difficulties in distribution.

So far, 1,067 persons were killed and 834 remained missing after Pablo hit provinces in Mindanao that rarely saw typhoons in the past. Citing data from Philippine agencies, Unocha said the typhoon affected 6.2 million people, with 13,490 still in evacuation centers while close to one million were forced to stay outside temporary shelters.

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  • carlbenedict

    1 Million?  My God.  They should start helping themselves for their own sake.

    Even United Nations will have a hard-time to attend to all of them quickly on a day-to-day basis.

    • piskay

      saan naba ang tulong ng gobyerno?ang dami nilang budget na kinuha sa kaban ng bayan.yung DSWD na sobrang yaman?

    • carlbenedict

       This is a major calamity.  Everyone should help. Government, Citizen, UN and anyone who have the inclination to help our distressed countrymen.

  • boybakal

    It now becomes a routine.Typhoon, aid, typhoon, help.
    I remember when we’re hit by typhoons but by my father with neighbors help, {Bayanihan}, was able to rebuild our house.

    It’s time for gov’t to teach people how to help themselves and not dependent on alms…Be self sufficient and self reliant.
    Though they should be given assistance and aid but they should move and help themselves too.
    The typhoons will be coming back, they will devastate again.

    People of Batanes can teach on how to prepare and how to rebuild.
    Batanes are the hardiest and resilient people as typhoon bombarded them always.
    But they persevere and fight not to be destryoed, the typhoons went away, they go to Mindanao.

  • boldyak

    pasensya na kayo mga victims, busy pa ang gobyerno sa pag gawa ng mga batas tungkol sa divorce…haha

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    KUNG BINABAWASAN BA NAMAN NG SANTO PAPA YUNG 17 BILLION NILANG SHARES EHH DI NAPAKAIN NILA ANG MGA NAGUGUTOM PURO KASI SILA PULITIKA AT PANG HIHINGI NG MONTERO!! AT MGA LUXURY CARS BISHOPS BAWASAN MO NAMAN YAN WALA NAMAN BUWIS YAN KASI LUSOT KAYO SA CHARITY LUGAW ANG PAKAIN!!

  • Your_King

    1M and probably more. Aquino and his Administration has already forgotten about the victims. Aquino has done the same for the over 2 million flood victims in August of last year, so this is no surprise that there are many still in need and seemingly forgotten. The helping the poor and the less fortunate are in the bottom of Aquino’s to do list.

  • disqusted0fu

    Poor victims. Pnoy and his administration are too busy attacking their foes and preparing for the elections for them to even remember these victims. Besides, they have already visited the typhoon hit areas and done their photo ops… We can’t expect any more than that. It’s all up to the LGUs and the relief organizations to help the poor victims.

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