The lukewarm response to an international aid appeal for relief efforts in storm-hit southern Philippines is hampering key activities such as the construction of more shelters for survivors.
The $28 million flash appeal launched by the United Nations in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Washi in December remains underfunded a month after devastating floods brought by the storm killed more than 1,000 people and affected at least 222,000 others. The appeal has only attracted $7.8 million so far, according to Jacqui Badcock, the local U.N. humanitarian coordinator.
Badcock said that while the United Nations and its partners remain active in post-storm relief efforts, they are unable to expand their programs or construct more latrines and shelters for survivors because of the funding shortfall.
Shelter and sanitation are two of the biggest challenges faced by local and international organizations involved in post-Washi response efforts. More shelters are now needed to house displaced families after classes resumed in schools that served as evacuation centers in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
The international aid community is also helping the local government identify and develop permanent relocation sites for storm survivors —the majority of whom are unable to return to their original communities because these were declared “no-build zones.”
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