The United Nations (UN) in the Philippines accelerated its assistance to lessen the impact of Super Typhoon Rolly, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2020, which swept through the country last November 1.
According to government figures, around 1.2 million people are affected with 811,000 of them displaced. The worst-hit areas are Albay province and the island province of Catanduanes.
“The UN family is one with the Philippine Government in ensuring that the needs of the affected families are met. We echo the government’s mandate in leaving no one behind at this time of great need,” stressed Gustavo Gonzalez, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.
The UN joined the Philippine government in a field assessment mission immediately after the typhoon, in close coordination with the Office of Civil Defense.
Key immediate needs and priorities include provision of food and cash assistance, hygiene kits and shelter repair kits. Repair of water systems, cash for work program and community engagement are also priorities identified by the UN.
On Sunday, Gonzalez will visit the affected areas in and around Albay together with UN experts and the ambassadors from Australia and Spain in the Philippines to witness first-hand the damage wrought by the typhoon to thousands of families.
UN and its agencies will provide their expert assistance in additional assessments to measure impact on livelihoods and the damage to the agricultural sector.
In collaboration with development partners, UN is assisting in the provision of PPE (personal protective equipment) gears and food packs, shelter, sanitation items, tents for child-friendly spaces, and education materials. Satellite imagery of affected areas has also been provided.
The objectives of the UN response to the typhoon include saving lives and livelihoods by providing immediate, integrated humanitarian assistance and protection to those in the most urgent need; restoring livelihoods and access to critical services to promote the rapid recovery of the most affected communities; and addressing the needs and advocating for the rights of vulnerable populations such as women, girls and persons with disabilities.
On Monday, a more detailed response document will be released by the UN that identifies urgent needs and priorities in the aftermath of the typhoon. PNA