A tropical storm swept through the southern Philippines the night of December 16, dropping the equivalent of one month's rainfall in just one day. The resulting flash floods have caused over 900 deaths and impacted over 200,000 children, leaving 20,000 currently living in evacuation centers.
UNICEF has immediately dispatched water kits, hygiene kits, water bladders, temporary pit latrines and mobile water units to the affected area. Two hundred portable toilets are also being prepared for delivery to address the dire need for sanitation facilities. Additional needs revealed by the rapid assessment are temporary shelter, non-food items such as blankets and mats for sleeping, and child registration and counseling services.
"UNICEF and its partners will stay as long as needed to get these families and communities back on their feet. While our current focus is immediate needs, we will soon be turning our attention to how communities can be better prepared and warned to reduce the risk of disasters, and prevent such a massive loss of life."