The United Nations has appealed for $45,000,000 to provide lifesaving equipment and assistance for the 260,000 people that are affected by the Super Typhoon Goni in the Philippines. This storm, now known as the world’s most powerful tropical cyclone this year, went across the islands with immense force about 10 days ago. The torrential rains and winds blew away any rooftops and damages all the homes and infrastructure that it touches. Many lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people have been shattered.
The United Nations how said that 1.9 million people in eight of the Philippine regions have been affected by this typhoon and that 845,000 people are in need of humanitarian help. The UN plans to aid 260,000 of the most vulnerable among them being women and children, the disabled and the elderly people who have lost homes and livelihoods due to this catastrophe.
As of right now these people have no current means of support. The number of casualties, however has been relatively low. The government reports at least 25 people have been killed and almost 400 have been injured. Seven are currently missing. UN resident human coordinator in the Philippines Gonzalez says that the governments preemptive action in attempt to quell the damage of the typhoon has saved many lives.
“The government of the Philippines has made significant efforts and they deserve recognition by the huge preemptive evacuation of people. We are talking about 480,000 people that were evacuated before the arrival of the typhoon. They were moved to some evacuation centers,” Gonzalez said.
However, the typhoon is not the only thing we have to contend with.
Unfortunately, people in the centers are faced with other risks not included in the catastrophe. COVID-19 post some risks to the workers. Local authorities are concerned about this disaster and trying to contend with the pandemic at the same time.
“People in evacuation centers, of course, cannot follow social distancing measures. The lack of appropriate water access and sanitation represent also a health risk for an area that is also well known by previous cholera outbreaks,” Gonzalez said.
The World Health Organization stated that there are 400,000 cases of coronavirus and almost 8000 deaths in the Philippines currently. Additionally, the only laboratory used for testing in the islands, has been destroyed in the typhoon.
If this appeal goes through, it will fund a central relief including shelter, food, water, hygiene, sanitation, and psychosocial support. The money will also be used to restore the livelihoods and the critical services to the islands of the Philippines and the most affected communities.