5 December, 2014 - Fears for children as looming super typhoon threatens the Philippines

Plan International staff in Manila and Tacloban are available for grabs and interviews. Please see below for details.

As the Philippines comes to terms with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, concern is high for children now threatened by a new super typhoon expected to hit the country tomorrow, says child rights organisation and NGO Plan International.

Plan is already preparing for Typhoon Hagupit, expected to make landfall on Saturday evening in the Eastern Visayan region, the same area in the Philippines that suffered major devastation by Typhoon Haiyan a little more than a year ago. The latest typhoon is expected to touch down near Borongan, on the island of Samar, packing winds of up to 250 km/h and generating a storm surge of up to four metres.

Plan has prepositioned relief items on the island, including water kits, hygiene kits, tarpaulins and infant kits, but concerns for children in the area are paramount.

“The children of the Philippines have already been through so much, and it looks like they are about to experience another frightening and devastating typhoon,” says Carin van der Hor, Plan International’s Country Director.

“High levels of stress in the aftermath of a natural disaster can affect children’s development, and there is little more stressful than a major typhoon just a year after experiencing the biggest storm ever to make landfall,” van der Hor says.

“The children who went through Haiyan are only just recovering and will need a great deal of extra support to ensure that this latest typhoon does not become a major setback for them.”

“We stand ready to come to the aid of children caught up in this typhoon. After Haiyan, we supported the recovery of hundreds of thousands of children and we are ready to continue that crucial work. No child deserves to go through something like this twice, and we will do all we can to help,” van der Hor says.

Large parts of Tacloban have now been evacuated and people across the threatened regions have moved to higher ground. Fifty-six provinces have been put on ‘critical’ alert by the national disaster risk reduction agency, with many areas, including six Plan International programme areas, expected to experience powerful winds and intense rainfall.

Plan International staff are available for updates, grabs and interviews, etc, and will be available throughout the weekend.

Carin van der Hor, Country Director, and Marco Savio, Deputy Country Director, will be available in Manila.

Richard Sandison, Disaster Response Manager, will be in Tacloban. Richard is an Australian and has a satellite phone should mobile networks fail.

Please ring Adam Cathro on 0488 202 945 to arrange interviews or for any further information.

Editors’ notes:
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.

Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International in Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945