3.9 million children in the Philippines are in desperate need of food, water and medicine following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan three weeks ago. Children are particularly susceptible to the lack of aid in the area because so many of them have been orphaned or separated from their families.
Charity worker, Miles Barter, told the UK Independent, “like everybody else they are hungry and they need water…but there are also issues of child protection”.
Disease has been considered a silent predator for children over the last few weeks. However, the UN revealed on Wednesday that a mass vaccination program has been launched to protect children against measles and polio.
Doctors vaccinated 30,000 children in the capital city of Tacloban this week to counteract the lack of sanitation. The UN is aiming to reach 500,000 people across the entire disaster zone.
Team leader of the WHO’s Phillipine immunisation programme, Sigrun Roesel, said the crowded and unsanitary conditions of evacuations centres following Typhoon Haiyan are breeding grounds for disease. Measles is of particular concern because it could lead to pneumonia in young children and kill them. It is also dangerous because it is so easily transmittable through coughing and sneezing.
The BBC has reported that many of the children’s homes and schools in the most heavily affected areas of Cebu and Leyte have been completely destroyed. In Cebu, Typhoon Haiyan’s formidable wind speeds of over 320km/h left few structures standing in its wake.
Despite this, the children remain hopeful. Their strength and will to rebuild the area and do everything in their power to save lives by contributing to the recovery and rehabilitation of their community is a truly inspiring act of selflessness and resilience.
A group of children in Cebu spend their evening sorting aid supplies after being at school all day. Many of them reportedly want to become doctors or teachers so they can do more to help such horrific scenarios in the future.
The will of these children is incredibly uplifting, and it highlights the help and contribution we can all make in some way. There is still a vast lack of aid supplies in these affected areas and every charity donation for children health and education makes a huge difference.
Despite how removed we may feel from these disastrous events such as Typhoon Haiyan, the combined aid effort from countries and individuals all over the globe is truly representative of the compassion of the human psyche. Children everywhere should have sufficient access to food, water and medicine and each contribution we make goes a long way in helping one of those 3.9 million children in the Philippines who currently don’t have access to it.
Whether you donate to a primary school, or just give a small amount to help a family, every dollar counts. Noble Endeavours runs a Community Development Project in the Philippines dedicated to providing purified water, education, health, dental care and employment opportunities to children. You can make a tax deductible donation or volunteer your skills to do your bit to help children in the Philippines get back on their feet.