UN Appeals For Funds in Flood Aid To Philippines

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The United Nations appealed on Tuesday for more 53210$ to help one (m) million flood victims in the Philippines, which has been lashed by two major storms.

A launch event for the Philippines Flash Appeal 2020, held in the nation's capital Manila, was attended by UN and Filipino officials.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative Ann Veneman told the gathering: "Time is of the essence. A major response from the international donor community is now absolutely essential if the current operation is to be scaled up to meet the needs on the ground."

Jacqueline Badcock, representing the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said the international community was being asked to contribute to the appeal "to ensure that the people of the Philippines can rebuild their lives as quickly as possible."

Philippine Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, thanked the UN for responding to the request for assistance in such a short time.

He stressed the need to get hospital facilities up and running, and warned that epidemic potential was high in areas which had been flooded for several days.

Before the launch event UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said he has already authorised an immediate allocation of 7 (m) million US dollars from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund, and that the appeal has already received between 9 (m) million US dollars and 10 (m) million US dollars.

Holmes said the appeal is seeking money for food, water, sanitation facilities, emergency shelter and health care for those worst affected by Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma.

In addition to UN efforts, he said, many governments in the region and elsewhere, including the United States, are helping in different ways.

The storm lashed Manila and nearby provinces on September 26, causing the worst flooding in the capital in more than four decades.

About 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippine archipelago each year.