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By Air, Land And Sea, Food Assistance Reaches Outlying Areas Hit By Typhoon Haiyan

TACLOBAN, Philippines – As assessments of the devastation wreaked by Super-Typhoon Haiyan highlight the immediate need to provide food assistance to all affected communities, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is extending its reach with airlifts, ferry services and trucks.

“As we enter the third week of this emergency response, food remains a priority need for affected communities. There has been significant progress in the delivery of relief items, and we continue to widen the geographic reach of the operation so that we can reach people on outlying islands,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Country Director and Representative.

•    Rice and High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) are being delivered by airlifts to remote island communities off the coast of Guiuan and Iloilo. Some of these hard-to-reach locations are receiving food assistance for the first time.

•    The first phase of a multi-sectoral assessment, coordinated by OCHA with technical leadership by WFP, has been completed. It gives a snapshot of the wide geographic areas affected, and what the immediate needs are. The assessment will be discussed with the government and will inform the strategic response in the future.

•    Since 13 November, WFP has dispatched more than 4,000 metric tons of rice and 127 metric tons of high energy biscuits for distribution by partners.

•    WFP is working closely with the Philippines government on relief efforts. The Department of Social Welfare and Development has distributed more than 1.3 million family food packs containing WFP rice.  

•    WFP is working with Oxfam to implement a pilot “food for work” activity involving 400 participants in Tacloban working on repairing damaged infrastructure.

•    WFP trucks are delivering bulk rice rations to badly-affected coastal communities in East Samar and Guiuan.

•    A WFP-chartered “Roll-on Roll-off” vessel with a 2,400 metric ton cargo capacity arrived in Tacloban Monday carrying relief goods such as family tents, blankets, water kits, jerry cans on behalf of the whole humanitarian community, as well as logistics  equipment. The vessel will continue to shuttle goods from Cebu to Tacloban.

•    1,012 metric tons of relief and support supplies (tents, kits for newborn babies, hygiene kits, mobile storage units, IT equipment) have been flown in to the Philippines from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depots, managed by WFP, in Dubai (UAE), Subang (Malaysia) and Brindisi (Italy).  

•    The WFP-led Emergency Telecoms Cluster is providing shared IT services including internet connections, radio communications and printing facilities to around 1,000 humanitarian workers in 10 locations.

•    The WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is operating two helicopters and a nine-passenger plane out of Cebu, serving the humanitarian community. So far, UNHAS has carried 167 humanitarian passengers on 43 flights to nine locations.

•    WFP estimates the cost of the operation for the next six months at around US$103 million. Out of this US$88 million is for food, US$12 million is to provide logistics and emergency telecommunications for the humanitarian community as a whole and US$2 million is to support food security and agriculture.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Silke Buhr, WFP/Manila, Mob. +63 915 216 4923
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Cebu,  Mob. +63 91 861 7029
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646 556 6909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 207 240 9001, Mob.  +44 796 800 8474
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634