UNICEF said yesterday that Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol is aiding fundraising efforts for the relief of the Philippines. Millions of children are in need of life-saving supplies in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Gasol pledged US $1000 for every point he scored in Friday's game against the Golden State Warriors. He ended up with 24 points and news of his fundraising spread quickly. Many more donations for UNICEF reportedly followed his initiative.
Caryl Stern, President of UNICEF USA says, “We are always so grateful to Pau Gasol for his unwavering commitment to UNICEF. The children in the Philippines need our help now, and in the foreseeable future, so it is critical for us to continue to shine a spotlight on their needs.”
Humanitarian groups estimate that 1.35 million children under five in nine of the country's 17 regions are at risk of malnutrition. The UN said in a report yesterday that 28 out of 579 children screened in Tacloban were found to be severely or moderately malnourished. These children were given medical treatment.
The UN also says that "repairs to health care facilities and basic services for patients–including food and water–are urgently needed." Aid agencies are reporting "increased cases of gastroenteritis, acute respiratory infection, fever, rashes and diarrhoea, especially in children."