By now you will have seen the reports of the devastating Typhoon which hit The Philippines at the end of last week. ChildFund has been assisting communities in the Philippines for half a century and is now actively responding to the vast needs of the population in the wake of one of the worst storms ever recorded. Here ChildFund’s National Director for The Philippines, Katherine Manik discusses these urgent needs:
Reports indicate that more than 17 million people are affected, and that as many as 10,000 lives may have been lost. We know that our supporters are anxious to know whether their sponsored children are safe, but with phone and internet infrastructure destroyed, accurate information is hard to come by. What we know so far is that several of our programme areas have been affected and it will some time before we are in a position to report on specific children or projects.
With the initial storm having passed over The Philippines, ChildFund staff are now on the ground assisting in the relief effort, targeting the priority regions of Tacloban, Ormoc and Roxas. The planned initial emergency response interventions are:
Procurement of the above goods is ongoing in the capital Manila and in Cebu, where ChildFund are establishing an operations centre. The Emergency Response team is today travelling to Ormoc, from which we have yet to have any contact with our local partner. The security situation for our staff on the ground is serious, with reports of people carrying supplies being set upon by desperate survivors trying to secure food for their families. We are doing everything we can to assist in the relief effort, co-ordinating with government and other NGOs to deliver our resources where they are needed most, and will update our supporters with further information as soon as we can.
We appreciate the concern of our supporters and the Irish public for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The people of The Philippines need assistance now to survive this disaster. If you can contribute, please Donate Now to our Emergency Appeal or Sponsor a Child in The Philippines.