Three weeks ago the most powerful typhoon ever recorded to hit land destroyed parts of the Philippines. The devastation has been catastrophic, flattening homes, schools and hospitals and leaving thousands dead and 5.5 million children affected.

Unicef has worked in the Philippines since 1948 and experienced staff returning from the worst affected areas such as Leyte are reporting having never seen anything like this not even after the Asian tsunami on Boxing day almost a decade ago. They have seen hundreds of kilometres of coconut groves literally blown away by 300kph winds. A coconut tree takes 12 years to grow, so this is a decade of livelihoods wiped out in a single storm.
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