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UN calls for $65m more in disaster aid

Extra funding urgently needed after Typhoon Bopha

UN calls for $65m more in disaster aid
Displaced residents take shelter in a gymnasium in Compostela Province (photo by Keith Bacongco)
Kerima Navales and Keith Bacongco, Davao City

December 11, 2012

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The United Nations said yesterday it needs to raise an additional US$65 million for victims of Typhoon Bopha which devastated parts of the southeast of the country last week.

Luisa Carvalho, UN resident coordinator in Manila, said an initial $35.5m had been requested to support relief and rehabilitation but that the extra funding was needed to help those worst affected – nearly half a million people – in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces.

The government has allocated eight billion pesos ($195.3m) for the early recovery effort.

“I would like to convey my heartfelt and deep condolences to the people who have lost their loved ones. I know a lot of us are grieving. We will do what is within our powers to help you recover,” Carvalho said.

Thousands of villagers in the two provinces have lost their homes and are taking shelter in gymnasiums, schools, and churches.

"Health problems are growing in addition to the fact that we need to address their food needs,” said Governor Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley, the worst-hit province.

About 70 percent of the population in Compostela Valley have been affected by the disaster, he added.

“It is urgent that life-saving measures are immediately taken in these areas. We cannot leave these people in this condition,” said Paul del Rosario, Oxfam’s humanitarian program coordinator.

Meanwhile, the death toll climbed to 714 today after more bodies were recovered overnight. Authorities said at least 861 people were still missing.

More than 1,900 people were reported injured from the typhoon which damaged property worth an estimated seven billion pesos ($171m).

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