MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The United Nations said Friday it will seek more funds for a reconstruction of areas in the central Philippines that were devastated by a super typhoon, in addition to $348 million that U.N. agencies had sought for immediate relief.
Only about a half of the initial U.N. appeal has been received since Typhoon Haiyan plowed through the country on Nov. 8, killing nearly 5,600 people and leaving 1,700 missing and more than 3.8 million displaced. More than 1.1 million houses have been damaged or destroyed.
Orla Fagan of the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Manila did not say how much of the additional funds will be needed for the yearlong reconstruction, but that it would entail a massive effort.
“You are talking about an area that’s the size of a European country with the population that’s the size of a European country,” she said.
“How much money do you think we will need to get these people back on the feet again, to get them at the state in their life that they can support themselves and where they are less vulnerable to things like this typhoon? That’s what we are aiming for,” she said.
Simon Hills, a disaster response officer of the International Labor Organization, said that 5.6 million workers have lost their livelihoods, including 2.4 million who already were among the very poor before the typhoon hit.
Hills said that 51 percent of those who lost their jobs were in the service sector, many of them in the tourism industry. About a third were farmers whose lands were submerged in tsunami-like storm surges that wiped out entire villages, and fishermen whose boats were battered and washed away, he said.
He said that the government’s emergency employment scheme was targeting 20,000 workers on Leyte island, one of the hardest-hit by the typhoon. Unskilled workers will be trained as masons, carpenters and plumbers to help rebuild their communities.
As debris blocking roads is cleared and remote areas are reached by aid workers, Carin van der Hor of Plan International, a children’s welfare organization, urged authorities and residents to tighten monitoring of human trafficking. She said that unaccompanied children risk being claimed by persons pretending to be relatives, and welcomed flyers warning of trafficking that were being distributed in evacuation centers.