The Philippines: US$28.6 million needed to help nearly half a million people in flood-ravaged Mindanao

22 December, 2011
A residential area in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, in the aftermath Tropical Storm Washi. Credit: UNICEF
A residential area in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, in the aftermath Tropical Storm Washi. Credit: UNICEF

Aid agencies appealed today for US$28.6 million to help nearly half a million people struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Washi in the southern Filipino island of Mindanao.

“The first priority is to help those who are displaced as a result of the floods. People urgently need shelter and clean drinking water, as well as bedding, food and basic household items,” said Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos.

Ms. Amos allocated another $3 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund yesterday to kick-start some of the urgently needed aid.

Government figures show that more than 1,060 people are dead or missing and some 300,000 people have been displaced by the storm which swept across Mindanao from 16-18 December. About 28,000 homes have been destroyed and these figures are expected to rise as more information becomes available.

“It was as if the cities were hit by an inland tsunami,” said Soe Nyunt-U, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines. “Entire areas were completely flattened. Debris from houses, buildings and other structures that had been destroyed by the storm was all swept out to the sea leaving huge areas devoid of all traces of habitation.”

Today’s appeal will be used to provide urgent supplies of clean water, food and emergency shelter.

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