The safety of children and new mothers must be a priority in the response to typhoon VongFong (local name Ambo) that is making landfall in the Philippines, Save the Children warned today.
Parts of the country are bracing themselves for winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour, floods, landslides and heavy rains.
Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children in the Philippines said children, particularly those with disabilities, as well as pregnant and new mothers are the most vulnerable, and at risk of disease and injury during emergencies such as typhoons.
“We urge the authorities in the provinces of Bicol and Eastern Samar to prioritise children and their families in already vulnerable communities, who are likely to suffer most from the devastation caused by typhoon VongFong,” Mr Muyot said.
“Deprived families living in coastal areas or remote hilly towns are the most exposed to natural disasters as their homes are made of lightweight materials.
“If they lose everything, these families will struggle to bounce back. Many are already suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of income opportunities due to quarantine measures.
“The impact of VongFong could push them over the edge as the typhoon can ravage their houses and destroy their crops.”
Mr Muyot also urged local authorities in Bicol and Samar to take COVID-19 measures into consideration when preparing evacuation centers, by ensuring physical distancing and the availability of hand washing facilities and other sanitation essentials like soap, alcohol, and face masks.
Save the Children teams are ready to respond to the typhoon. The organisation has over 10,000 household kits with basic necessities for families, tarpaulins to build shelters, and over 5,000 hygiene kits in stock so people can take COVID-19 preventative measures. Seven mobile health units are also ready to deploy.
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