by Emily Sollie
One week after Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the central Philippines, the situation is desperate. The most recent report from the United Nations tells us that 11.8 million children, women and men have been affected, more than 920,000 people are without homes and thousands have died as a result of the storm. Our staff on the ground in the Philippines echo the news media when they tell us that the devastation caused by the typhoon is comparable to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
LWR is responding. Here’s what we’re doing:
Shelter: The typhoon damaged at least 244,000 houses. LWR will help families rebuild by supplying the tools and materials needed to get them back into their homes as soon as possible. The shelter repair kits include plywood, lumber, corrugated metal sheeting, nails and other tools. To the extent possible, materials are procured locally, thereby stimulating the local economy.
Clean water: LWR will provide high-capacity water filters to ensure communities have access to safe drinking water. These refillable water tanks hold 45 liters of water (about 12 gallons) and can filter 12 liters per hour.
Debris removal: In a disaster of this scale, many people have also lost their means of livelihood. Farmers have lost crops and livestock; merchants have lost their inventory. In order to provide a source of income, and simultaneously clean up public areas, we will offer a cash-for-work program, in which participants are paid a daily wage for removing storm debris from schools, parks and other public spaces. These short-term work opportunities give families the cash they need to buy food or other necessities, while performing a much-needed service to their ravaged communities.
Distribution of essential household items: When people have lost everything, they have to rebuild from scratch. Organizations such as the World Food Programme and others ensure that people have food. LWR is making sure people can cook that food for their families. We’ll distribute baskets of kitchen supplies including pots, pans and utensils. To the extent possible, materials are procured locally.
LWR will be responding in areas hard-hit by the Super Typhoon Haiyan, outside the reach of other relief agencies. Our work will be focused in five municipalities in western Leyte Province and three municipalities in northern Cebu Province.
Our response will not end when these efforts are complete. LWR has been working in the Philippines for more than 25 years and our experience tells us that it will take at least two years for the affected communities to fully recover. When immediate needs have been met, LWR will continue our work to help families who lost their means of livelihood begin earning a living again.
We need your help!
- Please pray for those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan and for all who are working to respond in the aftermath of the storm.
- Give to the Philippines Typhoon fund. Your cash donations help LWR respond quickly to emerging needs on the ground. We accept gifts online and by phone and mail.
- Please consider assembling Quilts and Kits so that we have stock to respond to this and other emerging situations around the world.