Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Response
Typhoon Haiyan, considered one of the strongest tropical storms ever, made landfall in the Philippines early November 8 and caused catastrophic damage. World Vision’s teams are responding with emergency relief supplies for children and families in desperate need.
Typhoon Haiyan, reported by media outlets as possibly the strongest tropical cyclone in recorded history, made landfall last week in Samar, central Philippines.
World Vision is launching an emergency response to help affected vulnerable children and families.
On Thursday, emergency food, water, and hygiene kits were distributed to nearly 780 families in a typhoon-ravaged area of Cebu Island, following a major relief operation by World Vision. Four trucks hauled the 25 tons of supplies into remote villages in the hills of Tabugon Municipality, north of Cebu City.
‘The impact has been tremendous’
As many as 2,500 people are feared dead, and an estimated 800,000 are displaced after Typhoon Haiyan left a wake of utter destruction last weekend.
“The impact has been tremendous. It’s reported to be the biggest typhoon of the year, and it is,” said Gjeff Lamigo, World Vision communications manager in Manila.
About 9.5 million people were affected, reports the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Haiyan wreaked havoc on the country’s telecommunications, agriculture, and transportation infrastructure, delaying recovery and relief efforts.
A race against the clock
The greatest challenge is clearing roads and restoring power and water supplies for displaced families. “It’s us against the clock as we try to provide them with the necessary aid that they need,” says Aaron Aspi, a World Vision communications officer.
“We saw lots of children begging for food and water. When you look at the mountains, they look bare and stripped of all vegetation,” Aspi recalls. “There is massive mourning over loss of lives. It’s difficult to see people crying and in shock over this catastrophe.”
Massive response begins
World Vision is launching one of its largest relief operations in five decades of ministry in the Philippines to help nearly 400,000 people affected by the disaster. The organization is seeking to raise $20 million for this effort.
More than 500 local staff members are mobilizing to help provide food, blankets, mosquito nets, tarps, hygiene kits, and emergency shelter. Child-Friendly Spaces will help children cope with the emotional impact, play in a calm, safe environment, and catch up on missed schoolwork.
At the recent distribution on Cebu Island, the sacks handed to families included more than 30 bags of rice, beans, cans of sardines, cooking oil, clean drinking water, and hygiene supplies. They were sourced locally and put together with the help of a supermarket in the region.
“The distribution was a success, and hundreds of families now have enough food, but it’s just the start. There are more communities on the island who have been terribly affected and are in desperate need,” said Cecil Laguardia, emergency specialist for World Vision.
The villages had already been visited by a World Vision assessment team who determined that the area had been badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan and that residents had suffered further because of existing levels of poverty.
“The damage from the typhoon could be seen everywhere, and everyone lining up for food today had a dramatic story to tell,” Cecil says. “The community has shown incredible resilience and patience, particularly as many roads have been impassable, and it has taken time to get this aid through to those who need it most.”
More distributions are planned in the coming days. The immediate need is food and water, followed by emergency shelter.
35,000 sponsored children impacted
The storm affected more than 35,000 sponsored children in 21 development project areas where World Vision works, including Bohol, which was badly damaged by last month’s earthquake. U.S. donors sponsor more than 5,600 of those children, in Leyte and Antique.
Josaias dela Cruz, World Vision national director in the Philippines, appeals for a compassionate global response. “Please continue to uphold in prayer our responding staff and the suffering people in the Visayas and other typhoon-stricken areas. Now is the time to join our hearts, extend our helping hands, and work together to rebuild and uplift our fellow people’s lives.”
Please prayExternal Link for children, families, and communities affected by this terrible storm, and pray for those working to assist survivors who are in desperate need.
Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s Philippines Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will help us deliver life-saving assistance in the aftermath of sudden-onset emergencies in the Philippines, including Typhoon Haiyan.
View additional imagesExternal Link of the storm’s aftermath and World Vision’s distributions on the World Vision magazine site.
(Taken from World Vision)