UNICEF concerned for the safety of almost 2.5 million children in the path of Super Typhoon Mangkhut

UN children's organisation prepares supplies for families, especially for those in vulnerable communities, as the typhoon hits

MANILA/SYDNEY, 15 September 2018 - With Super Typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) slamming into the northern Philippines island of Luzon, UNICEF is concerned for the safety of at least 5 million Filipinos facing strong winds and heavy rains. Nearly half of them are children.

UNICEF is especially worried about the most vulnerable families in the typhoon’s path, whose lives are threatened by flooding and landslides, with storm surges predicted to be as high as 7 metres.  The typhoon is packing sustained winds of up to 205 kilometres an hour at its centre and gusts of 255 km/h.

Local governments in the Philippines have carried out pre-emptive evacuations in the provinces in the path of the typhoon, alerting residents in high-risk and low-lying areas and helping them prepare and evacuate.

UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander says the organisation is ready to provide support to the Philippine Government in reaching those most at risk, in all aspects of humanitarian and emergency response work.

UNICEF has prepositioned emergency supplies for about 12,500 families to respond to affected people’s needs for safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection. 

The organisation is ready to distribute supplies at very short notice, with trucks on stand-by to drive to affected areas.

“This Super Typhoon is terrifying for the millions of people in its path. Our southeast Asian neighbours are used to typhoons but this is the worst to strike the Philippines this year and it poses a major risk to lives and safety of children and their communities,” says UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart.

“Typhoon Mangkhut could also destroy or damage houses, schools, health centres, roads and bridges, and crops and farmland at the beginning of harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural area. Australian farmers, themselves affected by crippling drought, will know how devastating this will be for people who are heavily reliant on the land for their livelihoods,” he says.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF is the United Nations children’s organisation working in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

Charlotte Glennie, UNICEF Australia, +61 420 407 886, cglennie@unicef.org.au