Oxfam is gearing up its aid efforts after the Philippines has been devastated by the worst typhoon ever recorded to have hit land. Huge areas of the Philippines have been destroyed and 10 million people need urgent assistance.
Oxfam is gearing up its aid efforts after the Philippines has been devastated by the worst typhoon ever recorded to have hit land.
Huge areas of the Philippines have been destroyed and 10 million people need urgent assistance.
Globally Oxfam has set a goal to raise NZ$20 million to reach half a million people affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and we are aiming for a contribution of NZ$400,000 from generous New Zealanders.
Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director, Barry Coates, said: “Not only is this one of the worst natural disasters since the Indian Ocean tsunami, but it’s the poorest areas that have been affected. One in three people in the worst hit areas already live in poverty and have no assets whatsoever to fall back on.
“Crops have been destroyed just before harvest, people have no food supplies or savings, storm surges of up to 6 meters have destroyed clean water supplies and there is huge danger of waterborne diseases adding to the suffering.”
Oxfam’s rapid response teams have been deployed to Samar, Leyte and Northern Cebu to provide emergency supplies of water, sanitation and shelter.
The UN estimates that 9.8 million people – over two million families – are affected by Typhoon Haiyan in nine regions across the Philippines. Information is still coming in from some of the worst hit remote regions but over 10,000 people are thought to have lost their lives.
Golda Hilario, a member of Oxfam’s rapid response team on the ground in Tacloban said: “100 per cent of the city is devastated, pharmacies are being looted and there’s real need for basic medicines like antibiotics and medical equipment like surgical gloves. People are suffering because of the dire lack of food and they are taking desperate measures, like trying to puncture water pipes, to get clean water.”
One mother with two small children, who works selling fish with her fisherman husband, told Oxfam it was like a tsunami when the storm hit:
“Many storms have passed here. But we did not expect a storm that brought a tsunami with it. We only know of rain and wind. We did not expect the sea would devour the land.”
She has received a food pack containing 3 kilos of rice, sardines and corned beef. She expects to use this up within two days.
“We have nothing to go back to. We can’t fish. It’s dark and there are dead bodies floating in the sea.”
The most urgent needs are food, water, medicine and shelter. Communities also need power and communications restored and roads need to be cleared so that aid can get through.