News

No child affected by Typhoon Rai has to wait for assistance

Author:
Ella Quiogue
Source:
UNICEF
Contributor:
Publication Year:
2022
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Typhoon Rai swept through 11 of the Philippines’ 17 regions leaving thousands of families without shelter, food, safe water, and livelihoods. 912,000 children are in need of assistance.

Typhoon Rai swept through 11 of the Philippines’ 17 regions leaving thousands of families without shelter, food, safe water, and livelihoods

 

UNICEF Philippines, headed by Representative Ms. Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov visited the hardest-hit towns to see the progress of UNICEF’s response and listen to affected children and families as communities start rebuilding their lives.

Contaminated water supply and destroyed health facilities

“For two weeks, my family sought shelter in a waiting shed. That’s when my husband and one of my children contracted diarrhea. With these kits from UNICEF, I now make sure that my family is drinking clean water every time” said Azelyn, a mother from Dinagat Islands.

As of March, UNICEF has reached 67,463 people with life-saving supplies. “We work with local governments to provide water kits and family hygiene & dignity kits to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases and common illnesses”, said Rasul Abdullah, UNICEF Philippines WASH Officer.

Rai also damaged public health facilities, leaving healthcare workers unable to provide vital health services to children, pregnant women, and newborns. UNICEF tents are now being used as temporary health clinics.

Severely damaged schools

“Almost everyone’s priorities right now are to restore their homes and secure food. But teachers are also concerned for students who lost their tools for learning,” said Mr. Lope Papeleras from the Department of Education in Dinagat.

UNICEF has reached 67,463 people with life-saving supplies.

 

UNICEF continues to coordinate with the government to provide most-affected schools, students, and teachers with education supplies so that learning can continue. We have reached 13,891 learners since.

Children’s mental health at risk

“Because it’s still rainy season here, some of us still feel terrified whenever we hear strong winds or roofs banging. There are kids who do not want to play outside”, said France Donoso, a youth volunteer from Del Carmen, Siargao.

UNICEF has reached 8,000 children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support to help children recover and bring back a sense of normalcy in their lives. We collaborate with partners and youth volunteers from affected areas in running child-friendly spaces where children can safely play, meet new friends, and participate in activities.

“We also provide psychological first aid. With our government partners and local actors, we monitor and report possible cases of child rights violation and ensure appropriate case management interventions” said Rohannie Baraguir, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist.

Crisis within a crisis

Children who have been suffering from the effects of the pandemic now have to deal with the aftermath of Rai. They lost their homes, schools, and belongings. UNICEF remains committed to help ensure children are healthy, protected, and that their learning can continue as their families recover.

“Working closely with the Government, local partners and communities affected by the typhoon, and with the support of partners, team UNICEF Philippines will continue to support the recovery of children and families,” said Oyun Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative to the Philippines. “We really hope that things will get better” she added.

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