Aid agencies launch $791 million plan to help Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ survivors

By Reuters

Dec. 16, 2013

BANGKOK – More than 50 aid organizations including the United Nations launched on Monday a $791 million strategic response plan to assist 3 million people in central Philippines who were affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, hit the disaster-prone Southeast Asian country on Nov. 8, killing more than 6,000 people, affecting 14 million and damaging 1 million homes.

More than five weeks after the storm struck, 3.88 million people remain displaced from their homes.

The strategic response plan, which is 30 percent funded and will be implemented over a 12-month period, is designed to complement the government-led Yolanda recovery and response plan, which will be launched on Dec 18, said a U.N. statement.

“The typhoon led to the extensive destruction of agriculture and fishing infrastructure, severely impacting people’s livelihoods. There was widespread loss of homes, food stock, livelihood assets, as well as destruction of market areas and blocking of the physical means of access to markets and financial services,” the U.N. statement said.

“Food security is a major concern for the majority of affected communities.”

The aid agencies’ plan will target 3 million people for direct humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter and water and sanitation services.

“Communities affected by the storm have shown remarkable resilience and courage over the last few weeks, starting the difficult and daunting task of rebuilding their lives, in some cases from literally nothing,” Luiza Carvalho, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator for the Philippines, said in the statement. “They deserve our continued support to help them recover and rebuild.”

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