Kuala Lumpur, Nov 13 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for US$34 million (RM102 million) to fund its relief operation for millions affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including four million children.
Unicef’s request was part of a United Nations appeal for RM903 million (US$301 million) to facilitate humanitarian operations in the future, Unicef representative to Malaysia, Wivina Belmonte told Bernama when contacted here, today.
She said additional relief supplies for health, nutrition and water were urgently needed, which could not be purchased without additional funds.
“Children who have survived the terrible devastation of Haiyan need urgent assistance� We are particularly concerned about their health, due to the impact of the typhoon on water supply, sanitation systems and shelter.
“To help children overcome the shock and trauma of what they have just witnessed, they also need safe and protected spaces to be able to play and resume studying� We believe it’s one way of reconnecting them to a familiar and grounding routine, even in the midst of the chaos,” she said.
Therefore, UNICEF needed funds for donating basic school supplies for the students, whose schools had been severely damaged by the recent typhoon, Belmonte added.
The supplies or ‘School in a Box’ was part of the UN agency’s policy on supporting global students’ continual learning despite natural disasters or wars, she said.
“Normally each ‘School in a Box’ contains books, pencils, pens, rulers, chalks and other learning tools,” she said.
Apart from that, she said sanitary items such as soaps, water purification tablets and medical kits were also needed in order to prevent them from infection from any disease.
Aid that would reach Philippine children would make a tremendous difference, Belmonte said.
She also said the financial assistance was essential because the situation in the Philippines was getting worse, whereby women were giving birth on the floor because hospitals had been destroyed in the disaster.
Those who wish to donate to the Appeal in Ringgit Malaysia can visit www.helpunicef.my to make a secure online donation via credit card; or issue a crossed cheque or bank transfer payable to ‘UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND-EMERGENCY’. For more information, call (03) 2092 5812 or (03) 2095 9154.
The super typhoon Haiyan made landfall over Guiuan municipality in eastern Samar of the Philippines last Friday.