President Benigno Aquino III is appealing for help for the survivors of Typhoon “Pablo (International name: Bopha),” which killed more than 600 people and left thousands homeless when it hit the Davao and Central Visayas regions, as well as Palawan on the first week of December.

According to an article on Inquirer.net, the United Nations has launched a $65 million global appeal in Davao, one of the hardest-hit areas in Mindanao, to provide for the victims’ immediate needs and for their psychosocial recuperation. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Singapore, have already contributed to the nation’s relief efforts.

“Five million people were affected and they need express assistance,” said Imogen Wall, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Their priority needs are food, water and shelter but there’s also a big emphasis on helping people’s livelihood… So many farmers have lost their crops and it’s such a poor area. People need to earn money immediately and agriculture has to be rehabilitated.”

The entire country has also been placed under a “state of national calamity” to hasten the delivery of aid to typhoon victims, especially to those living in isolated areas. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda likewise called on the private sector to help provide food, temporary shelter, and dry clothes for the survivors. Companies are also asked to help provide helicopters to assist in the relief efforts as the typhoon had rendered several roads impassable.

(Photo by Denvie Balidoy via Flickr Creative Commons)

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