As hundreds of thousands of children huddle in evacuation centers following the most powerful typhoon in the Philippines for seven years, Save the Children fears the spread of COVID19.
Typhoon Rolly (Goni) made landfall across Luzon island on Sunday local time, bringing with it catastrophic winds, storm surges and widespread floods.
The extent of the damage in coastal areas is still unknown, but feared to have had a high humanitarian impact.
The CEO of Save the Children in the Philippines is Atty. Alberto Muyot. He said, “We call on the local government to urgently put in place proper health protocols to protect people sheltering in evacuation centers from life-threatening diseases including COVID-19.
“They must also ensure children and their families staying in evacuation centers are provided with hygiene essentials, nutritious food and clean water.”
“It is important local officials provide breast milk access to babies in case they are separated from their mothers, or mothers are unable to express breastmilk due to injury and psychosocial distress.”
The nation’s capital Manila, home to 13 million people, is bracing for the impact of the storm today. Save the Children has fears for more than nine million people living in the city.
“The impact on the most vulnerable in Manila could be horrendous. We are especially concerned for 1.5 million families forced to live in dangerous conditions along railroads tracks, garbage dumps and riverbanks.”
As soon it is safe to do so, Save the Children will deploy aid workers to the worst affected parts of Luzon island. They will quickly distribute basic life-saving hygiene kits and emergency supplies.