TACLOBAN, Philippines – Nearly 50,000 people around this city battered by Typhoon Haiyan received rice today provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as part of family packs distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The packs consist of a total of three kilogrammes of canned food and rice purchased locally by WFP – enough to feed a family for a few days, as relief operations scale up in the Philippines. A total of 49,000 people received family packs today and more will be handed out in the coming days.
· A C-130 transport aircraft delivered a total of 9.8 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to Tacloban city today from Manila. Another 25 metric tons of HEBs will be sent to Tacloban on Thursday along with Mobile Storage Units. HEBs are used in emergencies because they are nutritious, light to transport and need no cooking.
· Also on Wednesday, 500 metric tons of rice is being loaded onto trucks in Mindanao, to be driven up through the island and transported by boat to Tacloban.
· Six WFP Information Technology experts have arrived in the Philippines and three were immediately deployed to Tacloban to begin providing communications support to the humanitarian community. In the UN system, WFP coordinates the efforts of the humanitarian community in the areas of both logistics and emergency telecoms.
· Two mobile storage units are being erected at Cebu airport, and further mobile storage units were loaded onto a vessel and were due to arrive in Tacloban shortly.
· WFP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions and is seeking a total of US$88.2 million for food assistance and an estimated US$12.8 million for logistics and emergency telecommunications operations over the next six months in areas hit by the typhoon.
· In response, the following governments have announced contributions: the United States (US$10 million), Denmark (US$3.2 million) and Italy (US$400,000). WFP expects further announcements from major donors in the coming days.
· A total of 44 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEB) have arrived in the Philippines from UN Humanitarian Response Deport (UNHRD) in Dubai; production and delivery of further 950 metric tons of HEB is underway.
· In parallel to providing emergency food supplies, WFP is bringing in infrastructure including prefabricated offices, generators and radio equipment. This is vital to allow the government and humanitarian community to properly organize the response.
· WFP's current assessment of 2.5 million people needing food assistance is based on preliminary estimates related to the path of the storm and existing vulnerabilities, as well as the initial rapid assessment that took place immediately following the typhoon.
· As telecommunications are re-established and access becomes feasible to more areas, WFP, in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is deploying an experienced team for a more detailed assessment of long-term needs.
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Please donate now to provide emergency food assistance to families and children: www.wfp.org/typhoon
Broadcast quality video: Here is a link from which you can download broadcast-quality footage of the WFP response in the Philippines on 9 November: http://www.hightail.com/download/OGhmYUl0R0YwMEg1SE1UQw
Photo: Here is a link to download stills photos from the Philippines: https://www.yousendit.com/download/OGhmYUlxeFhrUmswTWRVag
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