Nearly 50,000 victims in Tacloban receive food aid
MANILA, Philippines – Food aid has reached the hands of nearly 50,000 people in Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) sent canned food and rice for a total of 49,000 hungry victims, the agency said in its operations update issued Thursday, November 14. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed the food in family packs, which can feed starving victims for the next few days. (READ: UN OCHA reports: Aid agencies deliver relief to Haiyan victims)
WFP operations continue to course food to Tacloban City – a total of 9.8 metric tons of high energy biscuits (HEB) arrived in the area on Wednesday, November 13. An additional 25 metric tons of HEBs were scheduled for delivery on Thursday, November 14. About 500 metric tons of rice will travel through Mindanao by land and will arrive in Tacloban by boat.
This is just the beginning of relief efforts, as an estimated 2.5 million people in Haiyan-hit areas are in need of food assistance, according to WFP’s latest estimate. Aid workers are under pressure as they deliver tons of food in a rush to feed thousands of victims who have lost their homes, loved ones, and sources of food and clean water critical for survival. (READ: UN: Aid must reach survivors faster)
Desperate for food aid
Traumatized typhoon victims are desperate to eat and are struggling to survive. (READ: Tormented food victims scour for food). Residents in the ruined towns of Balangkani and Hernani in Eastern Samar have asked for food and water. Food insecurity is a major threat. In the islands of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, locals living far-off from the town proper have gone through 4 days without access to food.
Government estimates as of Wednesday put the number of affected persons at 11.5 million, with more than 544,600 people displaced.
Global call for relief
WFP said it is seeking contributions worth US$88.2 million for food relief and around $12.8 million for communications and logistics support. Current donors include the United States ($10 million), Denmark ($3.2 million) and Italy ($400,000). The UN agency has also deployed 6 information technology experts to set up emergency telecommunications and logistics equipment.
The UN on Tuesday officially appealed for humanitarian funds worth $301 million to help the recovery and rehabilitation of millions of affected people. – Karen Liao/Rappler.com