Saturday 24 February 2018

Peter Power: Aid is starting to get through to the families, but time is not on our side

Peter Power

Baby girl Gwen was only a week old when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan washed her home away. Her mother, Jhana, says she feels lucky that her daughter, her "beautiful angel", survived the strongest storm to have ever hit her country.

Haiyan struck the islands of the Philippines with such ferocious force on Friday, November 8, that it destroyed up to 90pc of everything that stood in its way. Homes, schools, hospitals, power and water networks were all demolished. The destruction is on a scale I have never witnessed before. As the plane landed, I could only see mud and debris where once stood trees and buildings. This is an enormous tragedy for the people here.

Gwen is one of the five million children whose lives have been affected by this brutal storm and who UNICEF, the world's leading children's organisation, is there to help. The situation is dire and emergency aid cannot come quick enough. We are hugely concerned for mothers and children who are trying to survive without food, clean water and shelter. They are getting weaker by the day.

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