The city of Ormoc was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
Known locally in the Philippines as
Yolanda, Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. The
typhoon made landfall Nov. 8 and caused catastrophic damage across much of the
island country. Despite the timely evacuation of areas expected to be hit
hardest by Haiyan, the devastation wreaked by the typhoon was immense. Millions
of families have been displaced from their homes, and as many as 2,500 people
are feared dead in the storm's wake. The extent of the damage is making the
delivery of aid very challenging, and without continued support, more lives
could be lost.
Roads to Nowhere
Infrastructural damage caused by
the storm is limiting relief efforts in many localities, including the city of
Ormoc, on Leyte Island. ChildFund emergency response teams were among the first
to reach Ormoc a few days after the storm. Response efforts have been hampered
by the decimated infrastructure. Residents have no electricity, and potable
water is scarce.
Dozens of roads have been swept away, making it
difficult for nongovernmental organizations to effectively deliver food, water
and medical supplies to children and their families. The World Food Programme
has delivered more than 2,700 tons of rice to the Philippines since the storm,
but many families are still at risk of going hungry.
The town of
Guiuan was virtually wiped off the map after the typhoon's landfall, and the
city of Tacloban has been hit particularly hard. More
than 2 million people are still struggling to secure enough food because of
the challenges in distribution. ChildFund, although we do not have sponsored
children in Tacloban, is standing by to help.
In Tacloban, the
devastation to the city's infrastructure is not the only challenge facing
officials. Many of Tacloban's fleet of 220,000 light buses and taxis were
destroyed by the typhoon, a situation that poses further challenges in
delivering vital supplies to families most affected by the disaster.
"We need help. Nothing is happening," said Aristone Balute, an
81-year-old woman who failed to secure a seat on a flight out of Manila.
"We haven't eaten since yesterday afternoon."
Balute is just one of
millions of people facing an uncertain future. The extent of the damage
prompted Alfred S. Romualdez, mayor of Tacloban, to urge residents to
seek shelter with friends and family in other areas. Without ongoing
support and aid, millions of children's lives are at risk.
ChildFund has worked in the Philippines since 1954, and although
we have seen many powerful storms ravage the country since beginning
operations, none have matched the
destruction of Haiyan.
No children enrolled in ChildFund's
programs in the Philippines have been reported missing, but communication
remains difficult and we are working with Hayag, one of our local partners, to
assess the extent of the damage in Ormoc on Leyte Island. Our emergency
response teams have successfully reached the area and have reported that 90
percent of Ormoc's infrastructure has been destroyed.
our partners in the ChildFund Alliance have launched an immediate campaign to
raise $10 million to assist with vital relief efforts that could save lives.
More than 4.5 million children are estimated to have been affected by the
devastation wrought by Haiyan, and without the support of our donors, we will
not be able to help Filipino families as effectively.
consider making a donation to ChildFund's Emergency Action Fund today to help families in the
Philippines who have lost almost everything to this destructive typhoon. This
important fund allows us to mobilize teams of emergency response specialists,
provide food, water and medical supplies to children in need and their
families, and offer ongoing psychosocial support to children who have seen
their homes swept away by the force of the storm.