UN worries aid not reaching Yolanda victims

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Monday, December 9, 2013

CANBERRA, Australia -- The United Nations is investigating reports that aid has yet to reach remote parts of the Philippines a month after a devastating typhoon, the U.N. humanitarian chief said on Monday.

Valerie Amos, U.N. Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said she had expected that aid had been delivered by helicopter to survivors in even the most remote outlying islands following the November 8 disaster.

"Although we've got significant aid now coming in to the major centers, we still have a little bit of a worry that in a couple of the smaller islands that there may be needs there that we haven't managed to meet yet," she said.

"I'm still hearing worrying reports in the media — indeed I heard one this morning — where people said they hadn't received any aid as yet, and we're looking into that," she added.

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and its tsunami-like storm surge plowed through Tacloban and other coastal areas, leaving more than 5,700 dead and more than 1,700 missing throughout Visayas. About 4 million people were displaced.

Amos, in Australia for aid talks with the government, defended the Philippine government against criticisms that it was too slow to deliver aid to victims. She said the Philippines responded to more than 20 typhoons a year and was well prepared for storms.

"But the scale and severity of this was something which none of us could have anticipated," Amos said. (AP)

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