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Food, water and medicine shipped to survivors in Philippine super storm disaster

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 13th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Aid groups are currently trying to deliver food, water and medicine to the approximately 600,000 Filipinos who have been displaced by Typhoon Yolanda. News from the region has not been encouraging: the current crisis situation is currently only growing more desperate by the hour.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There are reports of aid trucks being stopped before they can get to their designated locations. The influx of food and water grows more necessary as local grocery stores and malls have been looted. Adding to the air of panic, a mob of about 3,000 people broke through the fence of the airport in Tacloban to meet a military plane delivering provisions.
 
The United Nations appeal is for an action plan which includes 15 projects that support the government's civil defense, health and social services.
 
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Among the biggest challenges in addressing the needs of those effected by the disaster has been the administration of goods and services. The interior minister has told reporters that people arriving at the airport and wanting to bring aid have at times ended up waiting to find out where and how they can help. The U.N. is urging aid agencies to go through a logistics briefing once they arrive at the Tacloban airport, among the hardest hit of the cities in the Philippines.
 
More than two dozen governments have offered support in the form of funding, humanitarian aid as well as military assets.

"Certainly it gives us comfort that we are not alone in this fight- in rehabilitating in the affected areas and in providing relief goods," Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. He says that the support of the international community has been tremendous. "Therefore we are very thankful for the countries who have pledged assistance to us."
 
Aid agencies say efforts are "scaling up" as scores of countries pledge money, resources and personnel to help deal with the crisis. Getting the aid to those who need it most remains the biggest hurdle.

Of the super storms in recorded history with the highest body counts, Cyclone Bhola killed at least 300,000 in what is now Bangladesh in 1970. Super Typhoon Nina killed at least 171,000 in China in 1975, Cyclone Gorky killed 138,866 in Bangladesh in 1991, Cyclone Nargis killed 138,366 in Burma in 2008 and Cyclone Swatow killed 100,000 in China in 1922.

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