Dear Friends, We've all watched the horror unfold in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Yesterday I made a donation to Church World Service - a coalition of faith groups working with communities where the need is greatest. You can trust your money will be well spent. Please give as you are able. - Rev. Chuck Currie
ALERT FROM CHURCH WORLD SERVICE
The estimated number of fatalities from Typhoon Haiyan continues to fluctuate between 2,000 and 10,000. Whatever the final numbers, Typhoon Haiyan's effects have been devastating, with aid channels slowed due to severe damage to infrastructure and officials urging residents of decimated cities such as Tacloban to leave and relocate.
Typhoon Haiyan, with the local name of Typhoon Yolanda, may have been the strongest typhoon on record, with sustained winds of 234 kph and gusts of 275 kph. It made landfall in the Philippines on November 8. The islands of Leyte and Samar were the most devastated by this super typhoon, in terms of number of casualties and damage to property.
At least 982,252 families, or 4,459,468 individuals, were affected in some way, with an estimated 101,762 families or 477,736 individuals displaced, the ACT Alliance reports.
Among what CWS and others know today based on assessments by partners in the Philippines:
- There are still affected areas that government and non-governmental agencies have not yet reached. Urgent needs include food, sleeping materials, water, blankets, tarpaulins, tents, medicines, mosquito nets, generators, hygiene kits and kitchen utensils.
- The massive destruction of houses prevents families from returning home. As a result, there is an immediate and increasing need for plastic sheets for temporary cover and enclosed tents for families with vulnerable members.
- Among the most urgent needs are safe drinking water and hygiene kits across all affected areas as water pipelines may have been damaged and accessible water is not potable. There is acute lack of clean water and food for the population in all nine provinces where more than 9 million people are affected.
CWS is supporting early response and recovery efforts of fellow members of the ACT Alliance that have significant operations in the Philippines. These partners include the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Lutheran World Relief, Christian Aid and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.
CWS-supported efforts include providing immediate assistance to more than 200,000 persons. Initial response efforts include providing emergency food to 259,000 persons; non-food items (plastic sheeting, etc) to 192,000; water/sanitation repair to 205,000. As well, programs of cash for work for 63,400; shelter assistance for 90,000 people; and disaster risk reduction programs for 2,500.
Among the food items to be distributed include rice, canned goods, dried beans. Non-food items include plastic sheeting, blankets, and water containers.
ACT members intend to target subsistence farmers, small fishermen, poor urban dwellers and female-headed households among the most-affected by the typhoon, as they have very limited capacity, finances and resources of their own to recover from the recent disaster.
In addition, CWS is providing technical support to members of the Philippines Disaster Response and Recovery Network, known as PDRRN.
The total amount being sought for the entire CWS-supported ACT effort, plus CWS technical support to PDRRN, is $15,418,584. Each of the ACT members has a separate budget; among the largest direct cost items in most of the budgets are for food, shelter and water, hygiene and sanitation items
PLEASE NOTE: This is the first of what is expected to be several appeal revisions related to this response.
HOW TO HELP:
Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or mailed to Church World Service, Attn.Typhoon Haiyan (#700-M), P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.