MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/23 December) — The United Nations and humanitarian partners called for US$28.6 million to support efforts by the Philippine government to respond to the humanitarian needs of the victims of the floods in Northern Mindanao spawned by Tropical Storm Sendong over the weekend.
In its revised Philippines (Mindanao) Humanitarian Action Plan 2012, the UN said it aims to provide clean water for drinking and bathing, food, emergency shelter, and essential household items to 471,000 worst-affected people in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities for three months.
Debris clearing to reduce health risks and logistics services that ensure uninterrupted delivery of life-saving programs is also a priority, the UN Center for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement issued from Geneva.
Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, visited the two cities this week, and “was shocked by the scale of destruction” that he saw firsthand.
“It was as if the cities were hit by an inland tsunami,” the statement quoted the official as having said.
Sendong (international codename “Washi”) swept across the two cities and parts of northern Bukidnon on Saturday, Dec. 17, inducing floods that wiped out entire communities along riverbanks and killed hundreds of people.
As of Friday afternoon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the death toll had climbed to at least 1,080, mostly in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. In Bukidnon, particularly in Libona and Baungon towns, the number of casualties had reached 41 as of Tuesday.
Dr. Soe said that while “the overflowing generosity of the Filipino people is saving lives,” the needs are “overwhelming.”
The UN agency’s statement said the plan will prioritize those whose houses were destroyed or those who will be unable to return to their places categorized as high-risk areas.
“Livelihood support to help people rebuild their lives will also be key,” it added. (MindaNews)