Much needed aid is beginning to reach survivors of Typhoon Haiyan desperate for food, water and medicine, after a marked improvement in access to roads, seaports and air strips, Oxfam said today.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke, currently in the Philippines said aid was now getting through to those in need of basic supplies.
“Despite the massive challenges, roads are finally opening up, so we will be able to start getting aid to the worst affected areas today,” she said today.
“Our priority will be to get to the most vulnerable people affected with safe water and basic essentials like soap and blankets.”
Dr Szoke said even though access is now improving, health concerns continue to increase with an urgent need for safe water and medical assistance, especially in Leyte and Samar.
Oxfam has four teams in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Northern Cebu, Leyte and Samar) providing water and hygiene kits. Overall, Oxfam aims to reach 500,000 people affected by the crisis through its programs.
Today, water and hygiene kits will be distributed to communities in need in Daan Bayatan, including basic essentials like soap, toothbrushes, underwear and blankets. Handwashing stations and 1000 communal temporary latrines will also be set up and cleaning kits distributed.
Oxfam is delivering sanitation kits to 10,000 people this week. Water and sanitation equipment is arriving into the country, which will be immediately taken to affected areas. Oxfam will work with local partners to provide mobile water treatment units to at least five different sites with generators and fuel to run them, and also is working to install mass water storage with tap stands.
There is a significant improvement in access to disaster affected areas as roads, seaports and air strips have opened and some telecommunications have been restored.
Around 39 provinces in the region have been devastated and aid is urgently needed in these areas. In Southeast Samar, coastal towns were ruined by a 10 metre storm surge. The area has not yet been reached by relief efforts and food, water and fuel supplies are running out fast.
To donate to Oxfam’s emergency appeal, visit: www.oxfam.org.au