• UN called for more funding

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    Continued funding is needed for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda earlier this month as they begin the painful process of rebuilding their lives from scratch, the United Nations resident coordinator in the Philippines said Friday.

    Luiza Carvalho, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Manila said during a press briefing, that there are many needs in the aftermath of the typhoon and the agency needed support “to be able to put people back on their feet.”

    The needs of the affected communities are blatantly obvious now that the full impact of the typhoon emerges, the UN coordinator said. She added that thousands of families lost their homes and livelihood.

    All of them will require “sustained assistance” to help them meet their daily needs, Carvalho said.

    “Families require safety, shelter and work to sustain a decent life,” she added.

    Entire communities who depended on fishing for their daily income lost their boats and gear. Urgent intervention is required, including seeds, fertilizer and tools to rebuild the livelihood of farmers during the current planting season and beyond.

    “The farming communities need assistance for a successful harvest. Farmers also need clean irrigation canals, which can be achieved through cash-for-work programs,” Rodrigue Vinet of FAO, the cluster co-lead for food security and agriculture, said.

    Shelter materials including tents, plastic sheeting and materials to help with home reconstruction as more than 579,000 homes are completely destroyed and 1,104 evacuation centers are providing temporary shelter to more than 224,00 people.

    “As people struggle to rebuild their lives, they require essential items such as construction material, mosquito nets, bed kits and solar lighting for safety,” International Organization for Migration (IOM) Marco Boasso, cluster co-lead for camp coordination and camp management, added.

    If farmers are unable to sow rice during the ongoing planting season, they will have no rice harvest in the period of March to April and this will jeopardize household food security, nutrition and income generation, the UN said.

    “Hundreds of thousands of families have lost everything. We will continue to prioritize their needs as they move in to a new year,” Carvalho said.

    “We are thankful to the international community but require continued support in the days and months ahead.” BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

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