The United Nations is investigating reports that aid has yet to reach remote parts of the Philippines a month after a devastating typhoon, the U.N. humanitarian chief said today.

Valerie Amos, U.N. Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said she had expected that aid had been delivered by helicopter to survivors in even the most remote outlying islands following the disaster on November 8.

Her remarks come amid claims that much of the aid is being siphoned off by corrupt local officials and sold for personal profit.

Emergency supplies delivered by military helicopters have even turned up on the shelves of shops in affluent districts of the capital Manila  – hundreds of miles from the disaster zone.

‘Although we’ve got significant aid now coming in to the major centers, we still have a little bit of a worry that in a couple of the smaller islands that there may be needs there that we haven’t managed to meet yet,’ she said.

‘I’m still hearing worrying reports in the media – indeed I heard one this morning – where people said they hadn’t received any aid as yet, and we’re looking into that,’ she said.

Typhoon Haiyan and its tsunami-like storm surge plowed through Tacloban and other coastal areas, leaving more than 5,700 dead and more than 1,700 missing throughout the region. About 4 million people were displaced.

Amos, in Australia for aid talks with the government, defended the Philippine government against criticisms that it was too slow to deliver aid to victims.

She said the Philippines responded to more than 20 typhoons a year and was well prepared for storms.

‘But the scale and severity of this was something which none of us could have anticipated,’ Amos said.

On Saturday it was revealed crucial aid sent from Britain to help the victims of typhoon-ravaged areas of the Philippines is being siphoned off and sold for profit by corrupt local officials.

Desperate: Filipinos rush to get relief goods during a helicopter aid drop. Evidence has emerged that much-needed supplies are being stockpiled by corrupt officials rather than being distributed to those in need

A television news report shows much-needed supplies on sale in affluent parts of the capital Manila

On top of the food seen for sale in shops in Manila, shelter equipment purchased using British donations has also been locked up in government warehouses and stockpiled alongside rice and other food intended for victims of last month’s catastrophe.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – an umbrella group representing 14 UK charities – expressed concern about evidence that suggests not all the £60 million of aid given by Britain is reaching those most in need. 

In dire need: Charities have expressed concern about evidence that suggests not all the £60million of aid given by Britain is reaching those – such as residents of Tacloban (pictured)

Devastation: More than 5,000 people were killed and up to four million people displaced when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit on November 8

Alarming evidence of the thefts was provided by expat Keb Darge, 56, who said he faces death threats for stopping local officials stealing aid in Eastern Samar, one of the worst-hit areas.

Mr Darge, a disc jockey originally from Scotland, said: ‘The aid isn’t getting through to where it’s needed. I’ve seen the deliveries arrive and I’ve seen them disappear.

‘Only a tiny percentage of the aid is getting through. The situation isn’t going to improve unless there’s an investigation. Someone needs to go and find out exactly what is happening. It is British aid coming in. Why give it to untrustworthy officials to steal? It is ludicrous.’

Mr Darge photographed supplies being locked up rather than distributed in Eastern Samar, where he used to live with his Filipino wife and their nine-year-old daughter. Now he has gone into hiding in Manila, fearing reprisals after receiving threats from the corrupt officials he has been trying to expose.

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