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December 25, 2013

UN urges more aid for Philippine typhoon recovery

MANILA, Philippines — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community Sunday 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 and urged donor countries to provide more aid in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

The storm 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 year-long 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."

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