Philippines Children at Risk

Philippines children


With the death toll breaking the records with over 5,000 dead due to one of the islands strongest typhoons many Philippines children are at risk due to a variety of factors.  One major problem is the amount of dead that need to be taken care of, not only those who have passed from the storm but also those who were literally washed away from their graves.  In Tacloban, many Journalists are saying the smell from tons of garbage, upturned cars, and decaying bodies that are trapped under homes is unbearable.   During this second week of cleaning up the most devastated areas in the Philippines, a few stores are gradually being opened, but the country is still in a critical state leaving many of the Philippines children at risk.

This nasty typhoon has also left a serious mark on the death toll of female infants.  It seems that the Philippines infant girls are dealing with higher economic stressors than male infants are, especially two years after a storm according to reports.  The deaths are actually 15 times greater than the death toll from this latest devastating storm siege.  These so-called events that happen after such devastation are called lag-damage do to the long-term effects that continue after a storm.

The economic and health data that was collected during a span from 1979 to 2008 shows how various households are affected by Philippines typhoons.  The annual average deaths due to typhoon exposure is 740 and a new data analysis concluded that 11,261 deaths of female infants is due to economic challenges a year after the storms occur.  What is surprising is that about half of the female infant deaths were not even conceived during any Philippines typhoons, so they did not come in contact with any dangerous aspects while in the womb.  Researchers did find that during rough times due to the typhoons families reduce healthy foods and health care access.  Many families lose the roofs over their homes, proper sanitary bathrooms are usually unavailable, and many times the whole home is demolished leaving them exposed to the elements.

It seems that the first year of life is affected severely due to such devastation.  Because their homes and jobs are gone, the whole family suffers when they try to get back on their feet.  The average household income is reduced by 6.6 percent after a Philippines Typhoon, and the families reduce their spending by about 7.1 percent.  Every work sector, no matter what a family used to do in order to support them, is drastically affected.

Although boys are not affected as badly as the girls, it does not seem to be done purposefully due to any malicious treatment.  The Philippines people do not allocate resources to gender like China and Japan in any way.  It seems to be a lack of resources depending on whether there are older siblings in the family to support.  Thus, it is probably due to a lack of resources available rather than the storms themselves.  Researchers also say that such statistics would be very easy to miss if one was not looking for it.

UNICEF Canada is leading international efforts to help ease these problems with the Philippines children that are in need of help.  The biggest concerns are to protect the children from exploitation and abuse.  Canada UNICEF has announced it’s financial support of three million in order to support the endeavors of helping these children in need and to help provide psychosocial care and safe places for any children in need.  They are also helping these children find their families if they were separated after the Philippines typhoon rage.


By Tina Elliott







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