UN boosts relief efforts in typhoon-hit Philippines

UN boosts relief efforts in typhoon-hit Philippines
# 27 November 2013 00:16 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The United Nations is boosting relief efforts in the Philippines, with food a priority almost three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan ripped into the country, a spokesperson said on Tuesday, APA reports.

The World Food Program (WFP) is extending its reach to those in need on outlying islands in the Philippines with airlifts, ferry services and trucks, said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky at a daily news briefing.

Since Nov. 13, WFP has dispatched more than 4,000 metric tons of rice and 127 metric tons of high energy biscuits for distribution by partners, according to the UN. They are being delivered by airlifts to remote island communities off the coast of Guiuan and Iloilo. Some of these hard-to-reach locations are receiving food assistance for the first time.

More than 1,000 metric tons of relief and support supplies - tents, kits for newborn babies, hygiene kits and mobile storage units - have been flown in to the Philippines from the UN Humanitarian Response Depots managed by WFP in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Subang in Malaysia, and Brindisi in Italy.

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is working with authorities to prevent congestion in overcrowded evacuation centers, Nesirky added.

Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) has killed 5,235 people and wounded 23,501 others. Another 1,613 people remained missing. Thousands of people had been evacuated to public buildings such as stadiums, schools and churches ahead of the typhoon. Many have since left, but some 240,000 people still remained in some 1,100 evacuation centers, according to the authorities in the Philippines.

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