2013-11-18 12:32:36

Safe drinking water restored in Tacloban

(Vatican Radio) UNICEF has announced it has delivered critical life-saving supplies for children in the worst-hit areas of the Philippines. About 200,000 people in Tacloban City now have safe drinking water. UNICEF partially restored the water supply this past weekend and airlifted hygiene kits for 18,000 people.
The UN says one of the most crucial tasks is to provide safe drinking water and sanitation as damage to the infrastructure has severely compromised water supplies.
Issuing $5 million from its own reserves, UNICEF also sent trucks with water purification tablets, latrine slabs, hygiene kits and water tanks to support 45,000 people a day with drinking water.
Official statistics from the Philippine government indicate that 11.8 million people were affected by the typhoon, including 4.6 million children, and more than 920,000 have been displaced.
UNICEF says hundreds of thousands of children across the country are still in need food, water and shelter.
Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says aid is getting to the disaster areas but not without some difficulty.
“Most airports have reopened,” he said and are operating day and night. As well, the Philippine military has reported that the cities on Leyte Island that were worst hit are now accessible by road. “But traffic congestion is an issue… the roads are congested and debris only partially cleared,” Laerke said.
Still, the full extent of the damage from the typhoon has yet to be evaluated as UN officials say some 20 small islands in the Philippines have not yet been reached.
Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: RealAudioMP3

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