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1.5 M children face malnutrition after Haiyan – UN

Agence France-Presse
UN has increased its appeal for disaster aid from $301 million to $348 million as the extent of the storm disaster becomes clearer

HUNGER AND DISASTER. Children in Yolanda-hit regions face malnutrition. Photo by Rupert Ambil/Rappler

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations warned on Friday, November 22, that 1.5 million children are at risk of malnutrition in typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines and called for greater efforts to provide food and water.

A UN appeal to cope with Typhoon Haiyan has been increased from US$301 million to US$348 million as the extent of the storm disaster becomes clearer.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the death toll, increased Friday to 5,200, would rise even as the spotlight turns away from the November 8 super typhoon.

“I am very concerned that some 1.5 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition and close to 800,000 pregnant and nursing mothers need nutritional help,” Amos told a news conference at UN headquarters after a trip to the Philippines.

Amos said huge numbers of people are still exposed to bad weather in the 9 provinces ravaged by the storm. An estimated 4 million people have been left homeless. (READ: PH struggles with funds after Haiyan)

A huge international relief operation was launched after the storm, but Amos said: “Much more needs to be done. Food, clean water, and shelter remain the top priorities.”

The death toll has mounted as rescuers reach remote islands and areas hit by fierce winds and huge waves in one of the biggest storms ever recorded.

Amos said the storm had also left a major communications blackout.

“People have little or no access to basic information through cell phones, Internet and radio, TV or newspapers,” she said. –

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