11 November 2009The United Nations humanitarian wing said today that relief efforts following the recent storms that battered the Philippines are being hampered by funding shortages, noting that only $26 million of the $74 million appeal launched last month has been received so far. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) added that the Flash Appeal is currently being revised and is expected to be finalized in the coming week.Aid agencies are reporting that funding shortfalls have limited their ability to follow through with humanitarian action plans designed to support life-saving projects and to launch early recovery efforts.The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have revised estimates of emergency and early recovery needs, taking into account new assessment data, and these additional needs will be reflected in the revised Flash Appeal.Agencies are particularly concerned about the estimated 1.7 million people still displaced or living in areas that remain under water or flooded, following the three consecutive typhoons that hit the country in September and October.Nearly 1,000 people died as a result of the storms, which affected around 9.8 million people and destroyed over 40,000 homes. Among the key concerns for aid agencies remain access to safe water, sanitation facilities and hygiene items in the relocation camps and in residential areas affected by floods. Another storm – Typhoon Mirinae – pummelled the region almost two weeks ago, bringing heavy rains, causing power outages and communication problems and raising the threat of renewed floods across the Philippines and Viet Nam.