FFE Magazine

What impressed Ban Ki Moon most in his visit to the Yolanda victims?

by FFE PH News Staff

 

UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon visits Tacloban last 21 December. Photo: un.org

UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon visits Tacloban last 21 December. Photo: un.org

 

Although saddened by the tragedy brought by Typhoon Yolanda to Tacloban, United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki Moon praised the resilience of the Filipinos affected by the disaster who are trying to build their lives back to normal.

 

“Having been around this community, Tacloban, I was, of course, very much saddened, but at the same time, I was very much impressed by the resilience of your people,” the UNSG said after touring Tacloban last Saturday and saw first-hand the devastation typhoon Yolanda brought the country.

 

“I have already seen [that] the people are returning back to their normal lives, businesses are coming back, and people are working hard, people are united,” Ban added.

 

Ban was in the Philippines from 20 to 22 December and met up with President Benigno Aquino III and other senior government representatives last Saturday and discussed humanitarian and recovery efforts in areas affected by the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall.

 

Ban Ki-moon in Tacloban 2013

“I’m deeply saddened and humbled by what I have seen – the immense loss of life and total destruction…I am sorry, deeply sorry, for all what [this] has caused you, the loss of life your dear family members, many injured people, complete destruction of your society,” Ban said.

 

Later that day, the Secretary-General visited Tacloban and received warm welcome from the residents.

 

Ban vowed that the United Nations will continue to work closely with the government to provide life-saving support to the victims. He added that the organization is trying to mobilize at least $800 million over 12 months as part of United Nations’ Strategic Response Plan.

 

“My message to the Filipino people is: never despair. The United Nations is behind you. The world is behind you. We will mobilize all resources and will to help you,” the Secretary-General said.

 

Last Sunday, Ban had a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati where del Rosario thanked the United Nations’ continuous support to the country.

 

“Your visit to our country at this time demonstrates the United Nations’ firm commitment to helping the victims of Typhoon ‘Yolanda’,” del Rosario said.

 

Typhoon Yolanda ripped through the Philippines last 8 November, killing at least 6,000 and affecting over 14 million people.

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