World asked to support desperate relief effort
Compiled from various online reports
The United Nations says Super Typhoon Haiyen that ravaged the Philippines with 300 km-per-hour winds and 6 m storm surge has killed 4 460 people. The world body says it received confirmation on the death toll from a government agency, reports ABC News.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released the figures on Thursday (November 14), citing the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development as the source. The UN says some 920 000 people were displaced by the storm and a total of 11.8 million people have been affected.
Though world aid operations are underway in the storm-ravaged areas of the Philippines, relief is still slow in coming, reports Religion Today. Bad weather and damage to roadways have hindered the distribution of supplies, and many Filipinos are still badly in need of food, water, and basic shelter. Aid agencies have also been put on alert as security in the region continues to worsen. A recent article from BBC news gives some insight into the decaying situation,
“Eight people died on Tuesday as survivors mobbed a government rice warehouse in Alangalang, Leyte, officials said.
‘One wall of our warehouses collapsed and eight people were crushed and killed instantly,’ Rex Estoperez, spokesman for the National Food Authority, said.
The police and soldiers were unable to stop the looters, who took more than 100,000 sacks of rice, Mr Estoperez added. John Cordell, from disaster relief charity ShelterBox, told the BBC: “I think [the reports of attacks on food convoys] are deterring a lot of aid agencies from getting in there.’”
In a chilling twist to the storm disaster, Fides reports that thousands of children who have become orphans after the storm stuck the province of Leyte have been officially designated as at high risk of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Despite the setbacks in getting aid to where it is needed most, international agencies continue to urge people around the world to take an active role in the Philippine relief effort.
South Africans asked to support Christian/Israeli aid effort
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has joined a coalition of Christian and Israeli humanitarian groups in a collective effort to bring emergency relief to the tens of thousands of victims of the storm, reports Dr. Jürgen Bühler, ICEJ Executive Director in an appeal letter. The coalition includes the Israeli emergency relief organisation IsraAid and the non-profit Shai Fund, co-founded by Charmaine Hedding. A team of Israeli and German doctors, nurses and paramedics are working to bring urgently-needed emergency relief. The initiative hopes to also fly in an Israeli field hospital as was done after the Haiti earthquake. South Africans are invited to support this important relief action by making financial donations to the following SA account: ICEJ SA, ABSA Bank Stellenbosch, Branch code: 632 005, Account No: 000 415 030 and please mention Philippines and your name.