23 June 2011 United Nations aid agencies are supplying blankets, plastic mats and tarpaulins to families on the Philippine island of Mindanao, where floods have displaced nearly 400,000 people this month.
Working with Philippine authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has dispatched more than 5,500 blankets, almost 5,000 tarpaulins and 3,500 plastic mats, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The World Food Programme (WFP) is also working with local authorities and the NGO Save the Children to prepare for possible distributions of food aid, based on needs assessments that are expected to be completed by tomorrow. Philippine authorities are leading the humanitarian response to the floods.
At least nine provinces of Mindanao have experienced flash floods since heavy rains struck the east and south of the island earlier this month, with Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Cotabato City among the hardest-hit areas. But water levels have begun to recede.
OCHA reported that an estimated 54,500 people are currently sheltering in evacuation centres while about 332,000 others are living with host families.
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