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Relief arriving in the Philippines, challenges for delivery persist

News release

WHO and partners are getting people and supplies into the Philippines, but reaching those in need remains challenging.

Teams of WHO and other emergency responders have been positioned or are en route to the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Medicines and healthcare supplies have arrived in Cebu and are now waiting to be sent to areas in highest need.

WHO is supporting the Government of the Philippines in coordinating the deployment of international medical teams. To date, nine teams (from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States of America) have confirmed that they are on their way or have arrived in the country. Two are positioned in Tacloban. The teams are self-sufficient – bringing their own hospital tents, supplies to perform surgeries, essential medicines and water, food and fuel.

“We’re working with the government to get the right people, medicines and supplies into the areas that have been hit hardest by the typhoon,” says Dr Julie Hall, WHO Representative in the Philippines. “But logistics still remain challenging, with airstrips, ports and roads badly damaged.”

Many people suffered cuts, wounds, and broken bones during the typhoon and others will have sustained injuries in subsequent flooding. People with chronic diseases have been without access to medication. Other vulnerable people such as children and those with disabilities may require medical attention.

With an outpouring of support from the international community, WHO has developed guidance for partners on donations of medicine and healthcare equipment, so that the Philippines receives the appropriate supplies for their emergency response.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Nyka Alexander (Manila)
Communications Officer
Telephone: +63 906 493 5097

Christy Feig
Director of Communications
Telephone: +41 79 251 7055

Gregory Härtl
Coordinator, News and Social Media
Telephone: +41 79 203 6715