Latest Stories

UN considers air drops of aid in Yolanda-devastated areas


MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations is considering air drops as a way to speed up the delivery of aid in isolated areas within Tacloban City as officials acknowledged the slow pace in bringing assistance to affected areas.

Luiza Carvalho, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, said she had discussed this possibility with local officials during her visit to Tacloban on Wednesday.

“It is possible and we discussed yesterday with the city authority of using this disposition within the city itself, so [typhoon victims] don’t need to travel some kilometers away. We should use this system of distribution within the city itself,” said Carvalho on Thursday.

She said the distribution of relief has become the main problem as “we cannot circulate with trucks” in Tacloban’s debris-strewn road network.

The UN humanitarian chief, Under Secretary General Valerie Amos, spoke of the frustration of aid workers and even government officials over delays in aid delivery as she cited several factors stalling the distribution of relief goods such as the debris-clogged roads, bad weather, fuel constraints, lack of communication lines and the virtual lack of local government coordination — apart from the sheer scale of the calamity.

“I think the members of government feel exactly the same way, the mayor (Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez) feels exactly the same. He was speaking to me about the frustration he feels, the basic services he needs to provide his people [and] he has not been able to do it,” said Amos, speaking of how local officials themselves were victims of the calamity.

“So yes, I do feel we have let people down because we have not been able to get in more quickly. But at the same time, I can see and I was able to see yesterday that our operations are scaling up significantly,” she said in a press conference, on Thursday.

Amos said aid workers “feel disappointed that we haven’t been able to do more despite the recognition of the fact that there are reasons for that.”

Asked about incidents of looting, Carvalho expressed optimism that such security concern could be addressed soon with police and military deployments in the city.

“This is not hampering us. There are convoys going, there are airplanes coming. The situation is very localized,” Carvalho said.

“…[W]e believe that we will be coming to the normality very very soon and be able to establish a continuous flow of aid,” she said.

Praveen Agrawal, the World Food Programme’s Country Director in the Philippines, is also optimistic that aid delivery will improve in the coming days as problems in terms of access are addressed.

“Because access was so difficult, it [aid delivery] was slowed down a little it, I do admit that, but within what was done and the incredible challenges that the government has to face, I think we are now at a point where things will start rolling on the right direction,” Agrawal told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a separate interview.

The official, who was among the first to see the devastation in Tacloban a day after the Nov. 8 monster storm hit, recognized the need to assure typhoon victims that aid is coming their way.

He said the WFP has set up telecommunications and logistics hub at the Tacloban airport soon to help in coordinating the response. This is apart from supplies that the organization has so far brought to Eastern Visayas, including high-energy biscuits and rice.

Related stories


UP students recycle old chargers, batteries for Yolanda victims

More than half of 2,357 deaths come from Leyte, Samar – NDRRMC

SC, prosecutors’ group launch aid drive for Yolanda survivors

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:

No related posts found!

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: air drops , calamity , Disaster , Global Nation , Haiyan , highways , humanitarian mission , illnesses , logistics , Luiza Carvalho , reconstruction , recovery , rehabilitation , relief , relief mission , rescue , roads , starvation , Supertyphoon , transportation , Typhoon , typhoon aid , typhoon survivors , Typhoon Victims , United Nations , Valerie Amos , weather , Yolanda

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  • If filed, plane lawsuits might not get heard in US
  • [VIDEO] Royal couple’s final day
  • Aquino urges public to help prevent brownouts, keep aircon usage low
  • 292 missing, 3 dead in South Korea ferry disaster
  • Sports

  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Fielder ends HR drought, Rangers beat Mariners 5-0
  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Business

  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • Marketplace