The United Nations (UN) and various non-government organizations (NGO) called for the deployment of more female police personnel in the Visayas to serve over 9.9 million women and children out of the 15 million people affected by the destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
In a press briefing on Friday, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN International Child Emergency Fund (Unicef), World Health Organization (WHO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) told reporters that out of 1,500 police units and forces in Visayas area, only two were women who could offer much needed women and children-friendly protection services in the typhoon-stricken areas.
In a statement, the UNFPA said that they are “concerned by the increased vulnerability of women, especially those without adequate shelter to domestic violence, rape and other forms of sexual violence and trafficking.”
UNFPA Representative Genevieve Ah-Sue said that there is a need to provide “women-friendly spaces” in the typhoon-hit areas.
For its part, the IOM lamented that the current relief and rehabilitation operations on the ground were lacking “segregated data” that identifies displaced persons by ages, gender and other miscellaneous information.
“Now, we will be rolling out displacement tracking system [in which we go]to displaced sites, conduct tracking matrix such as interviews and collection of information that would look at women, children and also the indigenous people,” the IOM said.
The Unicef, meanwhile, said that it is working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine National Police to look for missing children and bring them back to their families.