Photo of the Month: December Backstory

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-1009

This photo was taken on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, the area worst hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The typhoon – known locally as Yolanda –was one of the most powerful and destructive storms ever. Thousands have been killed and four million people have been displaced, including 1.8 million children. Of the 13.2 million people affected by the disaster, UNICEF estimates that 5.5 million of them are children.

In this photo, children make their way through the ruins of flattened homes. Their greatest needs are clean water, sanitation, food, medicine, and shelter.  But roads blocked by debris, as pictured here, make it difficult for relief supplies to get through.

UNICEF began working to reach children in need as soon as the storm hit. UNICEF’s Supply Division airlifted in medicine, food, tarps to keep people dry, tablets to purify water, and other needed goods. Due to UNICEF's around the clock work, almost 200,000 people in storm-ravaged Tacloban received access to safe drinking water during the first days and weeks following the storm.