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Home » News

Top UN aid official calls for scaling up of humanitarian efforts in Philippines

Article / Review by on December 21, 2011 – 8:50 pmNo Comments

Top UN aid official calls for scaling up of humanitarian efforts in Philippines

Several UN agencies have boosted their relief efforts in the Philippines which was ravaged by a tropical storm known locally as SendongSeveral UN agencies have boosted their relief efforts in the Philippines which was ravaged by a tropical storm known locally as Sendong

The United Nations relief chief called today on countries and international organizations to scale up humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, which was ravaged by a storm last weekend, leaving almost half a million people in need of assistance.

“The Government responded quickly to the disaster with a wide range of national, regional and local assets,” said Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “However, the needs are huge and additional supplies and expertise are needed to rapidly scale up the response and support local capacity.”

Ms. Amos praise welcomed the Government’s decision to accept international assistance and said the international humanitarian community is responding with all of its resources at hand.

The first priority is to help those who are displaced as a result of the floods. People urgently need shelter and clean drinking water, as well as bedding, food and basic household items.

According to a news release issued by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a joint Government and humanitarian country team assessment of the worst affected areas has identified water, hygiene and sanitation, emergency shelter and food as the priority needs.

“The first priority is to help those who are displaced as a result of the floods. People urgently need shelter and clean drinking water, as well as bedding, food and basic household items,” said Ms. Amos. “I am allocating $3 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to kick-start some of this urgently needed help.”

Various UN agencies boosted their relief efforts in the country over the past few days, including the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The UN and partners are now revising the 2012 Humanitarian Action Plan for Mindanao so that they can support the Government in addressing the needs of those affected over the coming three months.

The tropical storm, known locally as Sendong, swept across Mindanao last weekend, killing nearly 1,000 people in massive flooding, flash floods and landslides. Some 285,000 people have been displaced, many of whom are taking refuge with relatives or in makeshift structures.

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About United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Fighting hunger worldwide

Medicinezine.com United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Logo

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.

“In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.”

WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.

Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. We work towards that vision with our sister UN agencies in Rome — the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) — as well as other government, UN and NGO partners.

In 2011 we aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. Around 10,000 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor.

WFP’s five objectives:

  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger

WFP’s Mission statement

WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Food aid is one of the many instruments that can help to promote food security, which is defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. ¹ The policies governing the use of World Food Programme food aid must be oriented towards the objective of eradicating hunger and poverty. The ultimate objective of food aid should be the elimination of the need for food aid.

Targeted interventions are needed to help to improve the lives of the poorest people – people who, either permanently or during crisis periods, are unable to produce enough food or do not have the resources to otherwise obtain the food that they and their households require for active and healthy lives.

Consistent with its mandate, which also reflects the principle of universality, WFP will continue to:

  • use food aid to support economic and social development;
  • meet refugee and other emergency food needs, and the associated logistics support; and
  • promote world food security in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations and FAO.

The core policies and strategies that govern WFP activities are to provide food aid:

  • to save lives in refugee and other emergency situations;
  • to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives; and
  • to help build assets and promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities, particularly through labour-intensive works programmes.

Share food, change lives

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

More about United Nations (UN)

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