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Humanitarian Response Continues In Typhoon-Stricken Philippines

“The Philippines will divide up the typhoon-ravaged central Visayas between countries to maximize relief efforts, a senior officer said, as President Benigno Aquino won guarded praise for improving aid distribution 11 days after the storm hit,” Reuters reports. “But the country is still struggling to get aid to devastated areas due to the extent of the destruction, which has left four million people displaced, threatening Aquino’s reforms that have helped transform the Philippines into one of Asia’s fastest-growing and hottest emerging economies,” the news agency adds (Mogato, 11/19). However, “[m]edical care is finally beginning to improve nearly a week and a half since the typhoon struck the east-central Philippines, with 62 foreign or Filipino medical teams now working in areas with the most damage,” according to the New York Times (Bradsher, 11/18).

“WHO is continuing to coordinate the deployment of foreign medical teams with an immediate focus on injured and traumatized survivors and an eye towards the people’s longer-term health needs,” according to a press release from the agency (11/19). “The head of U.N. disaster relief visited the heart of the Philippine disaster zone on Tuesday and stressed the need for long-term planning as well as emergency relief to ensure farmers and fishermen can resume their livelihoods,” Reuters writes in a separate article (McDill, 11/19). The Associated Press/Huffington Post’s “World” blog examines efforts to care for newborns in the wake of the typhoon (Pitman, 11/19).