Philippines typhoon: aid is getting through
Despite the challenges, our partners are delivering aid to those who need it most
Thanks to your remarkable response to our appeal, our partner Caritas Philippines has been delivering aid to thousands of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan since Sunday, working through local parishes.
Aid workers and volunteers face many challenges – roads are blocked, power lines and phone lines remain down, airports have been damaged, and some areas are still flooded – but our partners are doing all they can to reach the worst hit parts of the country.
“We are reaching families across Samar, Leyte, Iloilo and Palawan with food, water, tents and household items such as pots and pans,” said Father Anton Pascual, who is leading a Caritas Philippines team. “Transport and communications are our worst problems, but we are working to overcome these issues day by day. There have been reports of looting of aid on some roads making it difficult to reach the most remote villages, but we wear our priest collars and we are able to go through. People deeply respect the Church.”
In Manila, the capital of the Philippines, 250 volunteers from local church groups have been working in shifts since Sunday to fill food packs, each of which consists of five kilos of rice, nine cans of goods, six packets of noodles and five packets of protein rich manna rice. The packs are designed to last a family of five people three days. 2,000 packs have already reached Leyte island, and the team are aiming to send 18,000 more as soon as they can.
Our partners also report that:
- Nearly 50 relief packs with clothes and medicines were delivered to a local hospital in Cebu on Tuesday
- A truck with relief supplies was sent to Bogo City in the devastated north of Cebu
- Ten trucks with 18,000 food packs are heading for Ormoc in Leyte
- CAFOD partner Catholic Relief Services delivered 5,000 tarpaulins to Cebu yesterday. 27,000 more tarpaulins are on their way.
CAFOD’s Robert Cruickshank said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of our supporters since we launched our appeal. The phones have been ringing off the hook, and there were more than 2,000 donations made on our website in the first 24 hours of our appeal.
“We know that there are many people who desperately need help. The situation on the ground is chaotic and the logistical challenges are immense, but our partners are working round the clock to make sure that relief supplies get through.
“Father Pascual’s experience shows that – in many areas – CAFOD’s church partners are not only uniquely placed to support those in need, but are also able to overcome some of the security challenges that other aid convoys are sadly facing.”