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Archant papers are first to launch appeal to aid typhoon victims

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Archant Norfolk’s Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News newspapers have launched an appeal with children’s charity Unicef in response to the Typhoon Haiyan disaster unfolding in the Philippines.

The UN says more than 11 million people may have been affected and some 673,000 displaced by Typhoon Haiyan. An estimated 2,500 people have died.

Now the millions of survivors, many without food, water or shelter are at increasing risk of disease and are battling to survive and rebuild.

Today (November 13), the EDP and Norwich Evening News were the first regional newspapers to launch a unique Christmas Appeal partnership with Unicef to help readers give what they can, and make a real difference now, when it is needed the most.

These scenes of horror may be happening thousands of miles away, but we are not powerless, report the papers.

£8 could provide vitamin sprinkles for a toddler for a whole year, helping them to grow healthy and strong. £10 could buy water kits to give a family access to safe water in an emergency. £22 could help provide 5,000 water purification tablets for families to purify water. £31.00 could help provide 500 packets of life-saving salts and save the lives of as many as 100 children suffering from dehydration caused by diarrhoea.

Funds raised for this appeal will support children affected by the current major disasters in the Philippines. If the funds raised exceed Unicef’s funding requirements for this appeal, the money will go to the charity’s Children’s Emergency Fund.

EDP and Norwich Evening News Editor-in-Chief Nigel Pickover said: “Our readers have a history of rallying to help those in need, no matter whether the crisis call comes from close to home or far away.

“The need for those suffering because of the devastation caused by the typhoon in the Philippines is great and I’m sure this will be another example of where people are determined to help in whatever way they can.”

Christopher de Bono, regional chief of communication for Unicef East Asia and Pacific, said: “I spoke with a Unicef colleague in Tacloban City, in the Philippine province of Leyte. He is a thorough professional, an old hand who has seen disasters and devastation before. But this time there was a quiver in his voice.

“‘People, families with children are walking along the ruined roads,’ he said. ‘I don’t know where they are going – there is nowhere to go. They are walking because their homes are gone and they have nowhere to go. So many people have nothing. Their children are hungry, some are sick, and they are frustrated’.

“What children in Tacloban City need right now is food, shelter, clean water and basic medicines. There is hope for them. The airport is now functioning, and transport aircraft are bringing in urgent aid and supplies. Local authorities are re-establishing the order necessary to distribute aid and meet people’s needs – slowly and with great difficulty, but with support from Unicef and our partners.”

The Right Reverend Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia, backed the papers’ campaign. He said: “I have watched with horror as images of devastation have emerged from the Philippines. I know that we have a large Filipino community here in East Anglia and that we benefit greatly from their spirit of generosity, especially in our hospitals and other areas of health care.

“It is our turn, now, to assist them and their families and friends, so far away, as they strive to rebuild lives and livelihoods that have been shattered by the super-typhoon.

“The Catholic Church, through CAFOD, is already involved in the efforts of the Disaster Emergency Committee, and I am delighted that the Eastern Daily Press and the Norwich Evening News have taken such a positive initiative. I urge all the people of East Anglia to reach out in love and generosity to those who have lost so much.

“My prayers, and the prayers of the Catholic community, are with all those involved, and especially those among us whose families have been directly affected.”

About 500 Filipinos are believed to work at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital alone.

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© Archant Ltd 2013