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Progress Made In Delivery Of Aid To Philippines, But Challenges Remain

“With substantial progress in opening up airports and clearing roads in typhoon-hit regions of the Philippines, United Nations agencies and partners are scaling up their support of government efforts to provide relief, but a major fuel shortage is hampering access to millions of affected people,” the U.N. News Centre reports (11/15). “Even as a major international aid effort has begun to take hold around the coastal city of Tacloban, the situation grimly differs just a few miles inland, where large numbers of injured or sick people in interior villages shattered by Typhoon Haiyan more than a week ago have received no assistance,” the New York Times writes (Bradsher, 11/17). “While aid packages have begun to reach more remote areas, much of it carried by helicopters brought by the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, the United Nations said people were still going hungry in some mountainous provinces,” according to Reuters (Belford, 11/17).

“The death toll from one of the world’s most powerful typhoons surged to about 4,000 on Friday, but the aid effort was still so patchy bodies lay uncollected as rescuers tried to evacuate stricken communities across the central Philippines,” Reuters states in a separate article (Grudgings/Belford, 11/15). “The death toll had reached 3,261, officials said, with the state news agency reporting that more than 12,000 were injured,” according to The Guardian, which adds, “The mayor of devastated Tacloban cited figures of 4,000 dead across the central Philippines, while the United Nations put the toll at 4,460, but later said it was reviewing that figure” (Branigan, 11/15). In a separate article, the newspaper notes “the number of displaced people increased to four million” (Branigan, 11/17).

Additional coverage is available from Agence France-Presse, American Forces Press Service, The Guardian, the Philippine Information Agency, Reuters, the U.N. News Centre, and a WHO press release.