The United Nations says the typhoon that struck the Philippines has killed 4,460, a number confirmed by government officials.
The storm affected nearly 12 million people, and is considered to be "the deadliest natural disaster on record," according to the Associated Press.
Foreign aid is flowing into the impoverished country of 96 million people, but challenges remain in getting to some badly damaged areas.
Hundreds of U.S. troops are assisting in the relief effort, with ships and aircraft bringing in emergency supplies and helping with rescue efforts.
"The U.S., spearheaded by the phenomenal technical capabilities, but also the humanitarianism of the U.S. military, not just the Navy, has been leading the effort to provide humanitarian relief," says foreign relations contributor Art Cyr.
He says the devastation is "monumental" in a country that, compared with its East Asian neighbors, is not "heavily developed and industrialized." While the Philippines is involved in some territorial disputes with countries like China, Taiwan, Vietnam, North Korea and South Korea, Cyr says so far no international politics have interfered with humanitarian aid.
Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr is a professor of Political Economy and World Business and director of the Clausen Center for World Business at Carthage College in Kenosha.