Super Typhoon Bopha struck the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on December 4, severely affecting more than 6 million people, damaging 200,000 homes, and displacing 900,000. One thousand and sixty-seven people lost their lives, and 834 more remain missing.
As Philippine officials struggle to rebuild, the damage to property has been estimated at almost $900m, most of it to agriculture, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The UN and others launched an appeal on December 10 to provide emergency assistance to help the affected communities recover.
International aid quickly followed from groups such as ACF International, a humanitarian organisation, which provided food, water, sanitation and hygiene kits.
Rasul Abdullah, ACF International’s water and hygiene coordinator, said that “although water is not yet a problem, it may be contaminated because of the flooding. People living in evacuation canters and remote areas, as well as the most vulnerable population such as pregnant and lactating women, children, elderly persons with disabilities are the priority of our humanitarian response.”
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters – including typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions – and one-third of its almost 95 million people live below the poverty line.
Children affected by the typhoon will receive supplementary meals when classes resume this January.