Philippines Typhoon Appeal

Our prayers are with our partners and the people of the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck on the 08 November, killing, injuring and displacing thousands of people and destroying whole communities.

The aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan

We remain in close contact with our partner church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and our volunteers. They are reporting back with scenes of complete devastation – entire communities have been damaged, whole families lost and livelihoods destroyed.

Said UnitingWorld National Director Kerry Enright;

“People in the Philippines are familiar with natural disasters but this is on an unprecedented scale.  We are shocked by the extent of the damage and the impact on people and their communities.  We need to stand with our partner and the people of the Philippines with prayer and practical support at this time.”

We are forwarding funds with immediate effect to the ACT Alliance, of which we are a member, to distribute to agencies on the ground directly involved in relief efforts. All funds will be used to provide food and water, tents, generators, essential non-food items, blankets, clothing and hygiene kits.

All funds raised will be used to support relief work and ongoing needs as they arise.

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Please click here to make a secure online tax deductible donation. Or call us on 1800 998 122.

Update

Written by Stephanie Dalton, UnitingWorld, February 2014

Generosity in the wake of disaster

On 8 November, 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines coast, killing, injuring and displacing thousands and destroying whole communities. We would like to express deep appreciation to all who supported emergency relief efforts in the devastating aftermath of the disaster.

Marina Acaylan, 70, has lived with her husband Kao in a small community in Iloilo province of the Philippines for 32 years. From her simple bamboo and mud home she makes rice cakes to sell at the local market. Her husband Kao helps fishermen haul in their catch, earning a meagre wage.

But on November 8 Marina and Kao’s lives changed forever when the typhoon struck. Marina and Kao’s house was one of many washed away.

“When I saw our house was gone I cried and cried” Marina said in the days following the typhoon.

“Everything we rely on was washed away. My cooking pots, and the whole market too. I had bought the cooking pots and had paid little by little for them over a year or so, and they belonged all to me. I need them to make a living, what can I do now? I went looking for some in the water and managed to rescue one. I’m still searching the shoreline every day.”

In the wake of the typhoon the international community responded swiftly and generously to support people affected by the disaster. UnitingWorld was delighted and touched by the support we received from Uniting Church people, congregations and businesses.

Within the first week we were able to transfer much needed funds to the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Christian Aid (both Act Alliance members) to provide emergency relief packs, fresh water and sanitation and medical supplies.

By the end of December we’d transferred $301,000 to support the emergency relief and rehabilitation efforts and by mid-January we’d together raised over $471,000.

For Lourdes Abude, 57, who lost her home to the typhoon, swift assistance in the wake of the typhoon was life-saving. The fishing boat and cages her family uses to make a living were also damaged, limiting their ability to access food and money for essential items.

In the days following the typhoon ACT Alliance members provided her family with an emergency relief pack that included rice, cooking oil and canned goods. Although their means to make a living had been destroyed, Lourdes and her family are remarkably resilient. They have now planted root vegetables, which they will be able to harvest and sell.

Without the support of people like you, UnitingWorld would not have been able to respond so promptly to the crisis on the ground. We are truly thankful you gave so readily to support people throughout the Philippines who’ve lost their families, homes and livelihoods.

For Lourdes and her family, emergency relief is only the first step in emerging from the aftermath of the typhoon. We continue to work through ACT Alliance and our partners on the ground to support the rebuilding of homes and livelihoods. We thank you for your part in this story.

Update

From Rev Andy Tiver, ACT Alliance Coordination Center Manila, 29 November 2013

It is so wonderful that those in Australia can support the Philippines at this critical time. But the needs are huge and only the tip of them has been addressed. The destructiveness and impact of this event are even too hard for those who are here to really grasp – the Philippines has had storms before but nothing on this scale – around 13% + of the population have been directly affected (14.4 million people), there are 3.62 million who have been displaced from their homes – and many more living in makeshift shanties beside their destroyed homes.  The official death toll has risen to 5,500 but the process of identifying the dead is slow and the count will most likely reach somewhere around the original estimate of 10,000, with many more missing. The number of affected people could easily be many more if we think about those who have for weeks now worried about family members they cannot contact or still do not know where they are – because phone signals and electricity is still not available in many of the affected areas. The need to help people repair and rebuild their homes is urgent. The need to re-establish livelihood is critical since the planting season for rice ends mid December – if no crops are in the ground – there will be food shortages next year. The international health teams are now leaving because they came to treat trauma cases – but the health services have largely been destroyed and the risk of disease is extremely high. The people are strong – but they have nothing left – many are leaving for the large cities – and the risks especially to women and girls of becoming victims of trafficking are very high.

Resources

UnitingWorld’s Rev Dr Ji Zhang has prepared a Worship Resource for congregations to use in response to Typhoon Haiyan.

The resource is available for download here. Click here to download prayers for Storm Survivors. Please feel free to share!