On the morning of December 4, Super Typhoon Bopha slammed into the southeastern coast of Mindanao in the Philippines. With winds of over 108 mph and heavy, intense rainfall, the storm completely destroyed homes and crops in the hardest-hit areas. So far, there have been 418 confirmed deaths, and 383 persons are still missing. More than 56,000 people were evacuated.
A mother holds her daughter as they evacuate from a flood-hit village in Compostela Province, Mindanao. © UNICEF Philippines/2012/JMaitemUNICEF has been on the ground in the Philippines since 1948 and immediately began assisting families and children in need. Since many water systems were destroyed or damaged, finding a source of safe water is a big concern. UNICEF is distributing water kits that include water purification solutions, as well as hygiene kits to keep children from getting diarrhea and upper respiratory illnesses. UNICEF is also supplying equipment to build temporary latrines; this is a critical priority, as many families lost their homes. As long as children and families are in need, UNICEF will be there to help them. But more funding is needed for UNICEF to reach all those who have been affected. If you would like to help, you can support UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts by visiting our donation page.