SCIAF launches Philippines Typhoon Emergency appeal
SCIAF has launched an emergency appeal to help survivors of Friday’s catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines which has left an estimated 10,000 people dead and 10.3 million affected
SCIAF partners on the ground, Caritas Philippines and Catholic Relief Services, have reached many of the worst affected areas. Clean water, food, shelter, hygiene kits and medicine are among the immediate priorities with 4 million people forced from their homes as typhoon damage has made them unsafe and 600,000 homes have been completely destroyed.
Lorraine Currie, SCIAF’s Head of International Programmes, said:
“This is a major disaster which will require a huge humanitarian response over a prolonged period. Work is already underway to get emergency supplies to the survivors of this devastating storm. SCIAF is working through our sister agencies on the ground to get aid to people as quickly as we can.
“There is an urgent need for clean water, food, temporary shelters, hygiene kits and medicines. I would urge everyone to give whatever they can to support the people in the Philippines as they try to survive over the coming days and recover in the longer term.”
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA, said,
“It’s the first time the Philippines has experienced a disaster of this magnitude. Despite the precautions, this was beyond all expectations. We couldn’t imagine a storm of this size hitting the Philippines. The casualties are increasing day by day. There are dead bodies everywhere. People are traumatised. The most urgent needs are for food and water. We really need all the help we can get.”
A picture of massive devastation is emerging from the Philippines. The Leyte and Samar islands are said to have been severely damaged. Reports say a path has been levelled across Leyte, including Ormoc City. A Caritas Philippines and Catholic Relief Service team reached Leyte by boat yesterday to assess the most urgent needs and food is now being distributed.
United Nations teams described the scene from the air as being on a scale of the 2004 India Ocean tsunami. Caritas fears the scale of destruction in yet unreached areas will be catastrophic. Communication remains a challenge but local Caritas staff have been able to speak with people in some of the worst hit regions.
Pope Francis also prayed for the victims of the typhoon after the Sunday Angelus in St Peter’s Square. He firstly called for silent prayer, and then led the faithful in a recitation of the Hail Mary. He urged those present to help their brothers and sisters in the Philippines concretely, as well as through prayer.
SCIAF has been able to pledge £250,000 to support those worst affected by this devastating typhoon. However, there is still so much more we can do. Please do keep the people of the Philippines in your prayers and share our appeal.
Please give what you can to help those affected by this devastating typhoon by clicking here or by calling 0141 354 5555
If you'd like to reflect on the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan, please keep the people of the Philippines in your prayers using the words below. You can also download the prayer - Prayer for the people of the Philippines