TACLOBAN, Philippines -- Food for more than three-quarters of a million people has been dispatched to communities hit by Typhoon Haiyan – and more is arriving every day, says UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
Meeting with survivors today in Tacloban, Cousin acknowledged the strength of the local people, who are working shoulder-to-shoulder with WFP and other relief organizations to respond to the disaster.
“What I've seen in Tacloban today is the incredible resilience of the Filipino people. These people are not asking for a handout, they're asking for a hand up to rebuild their lives," Cousin said, after helping to distribute High Energy Biscuits to children at a local high school that has been turned into an evacuation centre.
Since 13 November, family food packs with rice for more than 760,000 people, plus High Energy Biscuits for 33,000 people have been dispatched to shelters in 24 municipalities on Leyte Island, as well as in Tacloban City, where Cousin also met with government officials.
"Some of these people have lost everything. But what they do have from WFP is access to nutritious food,” Cousin said. “WFP has been working tirelessly with our government counterpart, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to get food out to the affected people. Together, we are working to overcome logistical challenges and are scaling up the number of people reached every day."
On Monday, Cousin is scheduled to visit Roxas City on the island of Panay, located west of Leyte Island. WFP is establishing a logistics hub in Roxas, in addition to a hub on Cebu Island, and other hubs in the communities of Ormoc and Guiuan on Leyte Island.
High-Resolution video from Tacloban, plus a shot-list, can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.hightail.com/download/OGhkMFhpVnN0QTFvSWNUQw
High-Resolution photographs shot today can be downloaded from this link:
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Silke Buhr, WFP/Tacloban, Mob. +63 915 216 4923
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 2 659 8616, Mob. +66 843 879878
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Mob. +1-646-8241112
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Mob. +44 796 800 8474
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634