POSTED: 7:01 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 7:22 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2013
MANILA, Philippines >> U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to ramp up aid for the Philippines' typhoon reconstruction, saying "we must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis."
Ban met with key ambassadors stationed in Manila at the end of his three-day visit today and urged donor countries to provide more aid in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the central Philippines on Nov. 8, killing at least 6,100 people and leaving nearly 1,800 others missing. Entire villages were flattened by Haiyan's ferocious winds and the tsunami-like storm surge that damaged or swept away more than a million homes and injured 27,000 people.
The U.N. is raising $791 million for a yearlong recovery plan. The Philippine government has separately launched an $8.17 billion reconstruction drive over four years.
Ban told reporters that the U.N. stands firmly with the Philippine efforts and leadership in improving preparedness and resilience to natural disasters.
He said he visited the country to show solidarity with the government and Filipinos, and was deeply moved and inspired by his visit Saturday to Tacloban city, one of the hardest-hit by the typhoon.
"People are working hard to recover," he said. "We must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis."
Ban urged "all donors to add to their already generous response so that we can help communities to build back better and safer."
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said that the typhoon demonstrates the threat of extreme weather patterns that may be the new normal due to climate change.
"The Philippines calls on all nations, rich and poor, to come together to confront this challenge," del Rosario said, adding that his country will "strongly participate" in Ban's proposed climate change summit in September next year.
British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, one of the ambassadors who met with Ban, said that the U.N. chief's visit "was important to retain international and domestic focus on recovery from the typhoon before attention moves on."