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Philippine govt gets int'l aid for storm relief: UN


15:24, December 21, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday announced that the government of the Philippines has accepted the offer of assistance from the international humanitarian community to respond to Tropical Storm Washi.

"The humanitarian action plan for Mindanao launched recently will be revised to include a response for this emergency," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here.

According to government figures, nearly 1,000 people have died and some 340,000 have been affected.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is delivering water and sanitation supplies and is calling for 4.2 million U.S. dollars to help families affected by the storm for the next three to six months, the spokesman said.

The World Food Program (WFP) said it has been requested by the government to provide food and other support to the people hardest- hit by the storm. It is distributing three tons of high-energy biscuits for nearly 8,000 people and is also providing logistical support.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working to put a disease surveillance system into place for communicable and non-communicable diseases.

"The (UN) secretary-general spoke by the telephone on Tuesday morning with Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario and they discussed the impact of Tropical Storm Washi," he said.

On Monday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over the impact of the tropical storm and extended his condolences to those affected.

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