CWS is appealing for funds to provide urgently needed food, drinking water, medicines, mosquito nets and other relief items. Communication and transportation assistance are also needed. Almost half a million people have been affected by the unprecedented flooding in the Philippines.
Christian World Service local partners are already responding but need more help to fund immediate relief supplies. Local churches are operating as relief and evacuation centres.
Tropical storm Ketsana, known locally as Ondoy, hit the country’s northern provinces on 26 September, resulting in flash floods and landslides. Those affected received a month’s rainfall in one day.
Early indications are that over 100 people have lost their lives and more than 150,000 made homeless. Large numbers are seeking shelter in the 205 evacuation centres where the conditions are cramped, supplies low and the threat of disease high.
Electricity has been cut in submerged regions and communication is difficult in the poorest areas where the roads are impassable.
The worst hit areas are Manila, Muntinlupa and Taguig in the National Capital Region, Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon and Laguna and Batangas in South Luzon.
Even though local partners have been personally affected they are galvanizing efforts to provide for the immediate needs and ultimately for rebuilding some of the country’s poorest communities. These are the communities most likely to miss out from government funding. They are also assessing local needs and capacity in an effort to facilitate a rapid response to those most vulnerable from the flooding.
The unprecedented flooding highlights the devastating affects of climate change on the world’s poorest people.
In launching the appeal, Christian World Service Director Pauline McKay says, “I was in the Philippines a week ago. The people have great community spirit and support networks but nothing can prepare them for this sudden outburst. The magnitude of this disaster is such that they need our help.”
29 September 2009