UN children’s agency sends preliminary aid as joint children’s needs assessments underway
MANILA, December 21, 2021 – After Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) caused massive destruction in the Philippines on December 16, the needs of children and families in affected areas become clear. According to initial estimates, around 845,000 children are in urgent need of assistance. Immediate needs include food, water, medicine, clothing, personal protective equipment (PPE), kitchen equipment, family kits with sleeping materials, hygiene kits, shelter temporary, disaster kits, tents for health facilities and transport bags.
UNICEF staff are on the ground to conduct assessments and lead the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Nutrition, Education and Child Protection clusters with the Philippine government and its partners. UNICEF emergency supplies are ready to be sent to meet the populations’ needs for drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education and child protection.
Around 2,000 hygiene and family dignity kits, 2,767 packets of water purification tablets, 2,018 additional bottles (in 100ml) of household water disinfectant, 2 collapsible bulk water tanks, 50 emergency latrine kits and 25 tents for district hospitals and rural health units were shipped from UNICEF’s field office in Mindanao in Cotabato town to Dinagat, Siargao, Surigao and Surigao islands del Norte. The kits contain items such as buckets of water, soaps, toothpaste, and sanitary napkins.
“Our hearts go out to the children and their families who were affected by the typhoon. Many children will spend the holidays homeless, hungry, cold and emotionally distressed. UNICEF is working hard to meet their urgent needs, together with the government and our partners, ”said UNICEF Representative in the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.
UNICEF also calls for prioritizing the needs of children for the response.
The pandemic has exacerbated pressing children’s health issues, and additional emergencies further compromise the well-being and general well-being of children and youth. Access to life-saving care and to quality maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services must be guaranteed to ensure the right of every child and woman to health.
Affected populations must have safe and equitable access to sufficient quantity and quality of water to meet their domestic and consumption needs, as well as to appropriate sanitation facilities.
Children should be screened for malnutrition and malnourished children should be given ready-to-use therapeutic foods, and nursing mothers among evacuees should have access to safe spaces to feed themselves.
Child protection systems in affected areas must be in place and functioning to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect and harmful practices. Unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) must be identified, placed in family care or in an appropriate alternative care system, safe and equipped with an individual management / care plan.
Learning must continue in safe and secure learning environments to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education.
Climate change and environmental degradation are major threats to the life, well-being and future of children and young people. The climate crisis is a crisis of children’s rights. Children and youth in the Philippines are among the most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate-related disasters. Their voices must be heard and they must be included in climate-related decision-making.
Help the children and families affected by Typhoon Odette by donating now at https://donate.unicef.ph
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