UNICEF prepares to respond to Super-Typhoon Mangkhut threatening the Philippines

SYDNEY, Friday 14 September 2018:  UNICEF and our partners in the Philippines are making preparations to respond to Super Typhoon Mangkhut as it races towards the densely populated northern island of Luzon.

The typhoon, known in the Philippines as Ompong, is forecast to hit on Saturday morning, bringing with it winds of more than 280 km an hour and torrential rain.

Hundreds of thousands of children are in the path of the storm, which is expected to be the strongest to hit the Philippines this year.

UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart says the organisation is watching developments closely and is ready to act if the Philippines Government requests UNICEF’s assistance.

“We know from experience that children are always the most vulnerable when there are natural disasters and this is a ferocious storm. We are deeply concerned about the risk to children’s lives caused by the threat of flash flooding and storm surges.”

UNICEF has a wealth of experience in responding to emergencies, including in the Philippines when Typhoon Haiyan devastated the lives of millions in 2013. 

UNICEF moved quickly to help the six million children caught in the eye of that storm, providing them and their families with safe drinking water, vaccinations and emergency healthcare. UNICEF also supported children long after the typhoon hit, ensuring they were able to return to school as soon as possible, and received support and counselling for the trauma they had suffered.

“The outpouring of compassion and generosity from Australians following Typhoon Haiyan showed that we care deeply about the lives of our south-east Asian neighbours,” says Tony Stuart.

“Once again we stand ready to do everything we can to help them recover from another disaster, in the event our worst fears are realised and Typhoon Mangkhut packs a devastating punch.”

UNICEF has strong relationships with partner organisations throughout the Philippines. The Philippine Government has said it may request international assistance, depending on the storm’s impact.

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