FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Anthony Dasco, + 63 2 631 1575
ChildFund Responds to Philippines Flash Floods
Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, Philippines – Dec. 21, 2011– ChildFund is assisting children and families in the southern Philippines in the aftermath of flash floods and landslides resulting from Typhoon Washi. More than 1,000 people are dead or missing, with thousands living in temporary shelters, in what President Benigno Aquino has declared a national calamity.
ChildFund, which has worked in the Philippines since 1972, is providing emergency relief to 2,000 children and families in Cagayan de Oro, one of the worst-hit areas. Families are receiving bottled water, food items and hygiene kits. ChildFund also set up five child-centered spaces in the shelters.
“Children are among the most vulnerable in disaster situations. The disruption to normal life poses challenges to families to care for their children,” said Mark Anthony Dasco, ChildFund’s program director in the Philippines. “Children have been traumatized by what has happened and child-centered spaces allow children to gather and play in a safe, adequately supervised place. Child-focused activities promote the recovery of children from stressful events associated with the floods.”
Children have told ChildFund staff they have lost school materials and need food and water, clothes, mats and blankets. In addition, parents are stressed about their destroyed houses and lost livelihoods. “We thought we were going to die. It all happened so fast and it was so frightening. We couldn’t save anything,” said Marites, a 45-year-old mother staying in a temporary shelter. “We need to start all over again. Our house was totally washed away.”
ChildFund is raising funds to meet the immediate needs of children and their families. “ChildFund has worked in the Philippines for 40 years so we are able to provide immediate assistance,” Dasco said. “In the midst of a disaster, ChildFund is there as part of the relief effort. And after the crisis has passed, we stay on to fight the root causes of deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability.”
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ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 13.5 million children and their family members in 31 countries. For more than 70 years, we have helped the world’s deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish. To sponsor a child in need, visit the ChildFund website.