More than 11 million people in the Philippines are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter and medical care after one of the most powerful storms ever recorded devastated the island nation.
World Vision staff member, Mai Zamora, was among the first aid workers to reach Tacloban in Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan hit, and described her journey as an “endless path of misery.” Survivors are desperate for food and water, telling Ms Zamora, “we eat wet bread from the streets just to survive.”
Her colleague in Cebu, Aaron Aspi, says the destruction is staggering. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he says, “families were told to leave the danger zones to higher ground, but with the magnitude of this typhoon, even some of the evacuation centers were washed out.”
Governments and humanitarian agencies are ramping up their efforts to support relief work in the devastated Philippines’ province of Leyte, where Typhoon Haiyan has claimed an estimated 10,000 lives and displaced more than 670,000 people.
The United Nations has launched an appeal for US$301 million to provide an initial six months of emergency relief work in the Philippines. This includes working with the World Health Organisation to set up field hospitals and bring in medical supplies to the province of Leyte.
Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has announced Australia’s contribution of $10 million in emergency assistance to the Philippines. The package will fund: the deployment of a medical assistance team; the supply of tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and health and hygiene kits; and the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations, Australian Red Cross, and other non-government organisations.
Australian humanitarian organisations have joined the efforts to provide relief in the typhoon-hit areas of the Philippines.
World Vision Australia
World Vision has sent three aid teams across the typhoon-affected regions of the Philippines and already commenced distributions in Cebu, handing out food and water, emergency shelter, blankets, plastic mats, mosquito nets and hygiene kits (toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary items, hand towels, razors, bath soap, laundry soap, underwear). World Vision is also coordinating shipments of relief items (emergency shelters, blankets, mosquito nets, plastic mats, can openers) from around the world to send to the Philippines.
You can find out more and donate at www.worldvision.com.au or by calling 13 32 40.
TEAR Australia is accepting donations to support aid and relief efforts following the massive destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan. TEAR Australia’s response in the Philippines will be taking place through collaboration with Integral Alliance – a global alliance of 19 evangelical Christian relief and development agencies. Currently, Integral Alliance partners are carrying out situation assessments on the ground, so that they can coordinate appropriate responses, including meeting urgent needs for shelter, food and safe water. Integral Alliance partner, Food for the Hungry, operating in the Camarines Norte Province and has started provided assistance by relocating families into safer places and distributing food.
You can find out more and donate at www.tear.org.au
Australia for UNHCR
Australia for UNHCR is an Australian charity that fundraises to provide life-changing humanitarian support to refugees and other displaced and stateless people supported by UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The UNHCR is sending to the Philippines 1,400 protection kits and hygiene kits containing basic items such as plastic sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, soap and underwear. Preparations are underway to dispatch emergency airlift to the Philippines from Dubai carrying 2,500 tents, and further airlifts will deliver emergency aid (tents, plastic sheets, blankets, mats, water containers and cooking utensils) for 16,000 families, and 50,000 solar lanterns to mitigate the risks of gender-based violence and enhance the protection of families who have lost their homes.