TACLOBAN, DECEMBER 2, 2013 (PHILSTAR) In a show of solidarity with Philippine typhoon victims, dozens of the pop music world�s superstars have donated songs to an album aimed at raising funds for disaster relief.
Songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Beyonce, U2 and Bruno Mars are among the 39 donated to �Songs for the Philippines,� available for purchase Monday at iTunes and for streaming on iTunes Radio.
The artists, record companies and music publishers have agreed to donate the proceeds to the Philippine Red Cross as officials have struggled to keep up with humanitarian aid demands.
As this developed, South Korea has decided to send around 540 members of the Korean Armed Forces composed of medical, recovery and engineering teams to assist in relief and recovery operations.
The decision was made after South Korea committed to provide humanitarian assistance worth $5 million and $20 million for reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in affected provinces.
The troops, the second largest overseas deployment by the Republic of Korea since joining the United Nations in 1991, will arrive soon after approval by the Korean National Assembly.
The South Korea embassy said this represents the ever-closer cooperative relationships between the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.
An advance team arrived on Monday for a one-week assessment of the situation in identified sites.
�Koreans have never forgotten the role that the Philippines played during the Korean War. The effort of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea was not in vain, for Korea was able to rise from the ashes and achieve a remarkable economic development,� the embassy said.
�Now that the Filipinos are in dire need, many Koreans see an opportunity to repay the sacrifice, bravery and heroism of the 7,420 Filipino soldiers who fought under the United Nations Command. Korea is optimistic that the Philippines, especially those adversely affected by the typhoon, with the help of the international community, will quickly recover from this debacle,� it added.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is developing a $110-million master plan that will prevent pregnancy-related deaths and sexual abuses against women and children in typhoon-ravaged areas.
UNFPA yesterday said it is working with national authorities and humanitarian partners in the development of the master plan that would provide basic hygiene for women and girls of child-bearing age in the affected areas nationwide.
According to the UNFPA, over 3.2 million women and girls of child-bearing age are in need of urgent care and protection after health infrastructure have been destroyed and security remains a concern.
There are also 230,000 pregnant women in the affected areas, while 835 women give birth every day with limited access to emergency obstetric care.
UNFPA said funds are urgently needed so that life-saving maternal health services can be provided to women and girls through 80 temporary maternity wards, two �hospitainers� (emergency obstetric theaters in containers) and 34 ambulances.
�Women and girls of child-bearing age will have access to basic hygiene items, such as sanitary pads, underwear and soap, through the distribution of 105,000 dignity kits in evacuation centers,� UNFPA added.
UNFPA also said that an additional 110,000 kits will be distributed to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and that 4,000 women every week would have access to reproductive health care services by providing equipment and repairing infrastructure in all eight affected provinces.
�In the rush to provide assistance, women and girls were invisible,� UNFPA�s humanitarian response chief Ugochi Daniels said in a statement.
�We now must ensure that their needs are met so that every woman and every girl affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) is protected and lives with dignity,� she added.
As this developed, the United Kingdom said it is awaiting indicators from the government for the area of focus where British assistance in the rebuilding of typhoon-affected areas will come in.
�Once we get those indicators then we can shape. It would be wrong for us to simply step in regardless of need and desires. It is obvious you do not need too much digging to see what the needs are,� British Ambassador Asif Ahmad told journalists yesterday.
He also noted that there is a need for the Philippines to address the worsening effects of global warming in the country.
He said the Philippines must step up its measures to mitigate climate change, reduce its carbon footprint, improve its public transport and infrastructure, and redesign its use of energy.
Canada�s Minister of International Development Christian Paradis arrived in the country yesterday to meet with local officials and Canadian and international humanitarian partners in relief efforts.
During his three-day visit, Paradis will go to the hardest-hit cities of Tacloban, Ormoc and Roxas to survey the damage caused by Yolanda.
In Tacloban, Paradis will meet with partners delivering humanitarian assistance. In Ormoc, he will visit the Canadian Red Cross field hospital that is providing basic health and surgical care to typhoon victims.
In Roxas, he will meet with the more than 300 members of Canada�s Disaster Assistance Response Team, which has provided clean water, medical assistance and logistical support.
So far, the Canadian government has provided an initial allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help launch relief operations and $5 million in immediate support to humanitarian organizations.
It also created a matching fund by which the Canadian government will contribute a dollar for each eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities until Dec 9. It announced an initial $15 million, which will be counted against the fund.
Canada has donated 3,000 tents, 16,000 blankets, 1.3 million water purification tablets, 5,000 shelter kits, 20,000 jerry cans, 19,750 tarps, and 4,400 buckets to the relief efforts.