In face of lackluster government response, Typhoon Hiyan survivors ask the world 'Please send food!'
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/19/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Just over six months following the landfall of Typhoon Hiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, rebuilding efforts in regions impacted by the storm continue to be hampered by a lack of government coordination and supplies. Many local inhabitants are still dependent on overseas aid.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Hiyan, food aid streamed in from arpund the world. Now that aid is decreasing but the government still can't take over from private agencies. CRS, Oxfam, the Red Cross, YCVF and other agencies are still essential for survival.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Earlier this month, government officials in the Philippines admitted they lacked coordination and effective responses to Typhoon Hiyan/Yolanda, which devastated wide swathes of the island nation. The admission comes after locals, still struggling to rebuild six months later, charge the government with failing to provide even basic, coordinated relief to victims.
In many areas, victims are still heavily reliant on aid shipments from the west, particularly from the United States. Both Catholic Relief Services and the Red Cross are still providing for survivors, supplying them with food, shelter, and other necessities of life as they struggle to recover.
Don't leave children to go hungry. Act now!
Struggling survivors are still asking for aid, and the Red Cross says that in some areas, "basic services have not been re-established."
For example, only about half of the affected medical facilities located in Eastern Visayas have reopened and babies have died from basic causes, such as hypothermia, exacerbated by the lack of electricity which prevents nurses from properly examining babies in the dark.
Oxfam says that 200,000 survivors who are under government plans for relocation as part of the rebuilding effort, are in danger of long-term poverty because there is no consideration being given to how these people, fishermen and farmers, will earn a living in their new settlements.
Schools also remain closed, robbing children of an opportunity to receive an education. College facilities also remain closed. These closures contribute to long-term economic decline in the region because without education, the local inhabitants will find it much more difficult to provide for their own needs.
Some parts of the City of Tacloban remain as devastated as if they were attacked in war, with buildings remaining in absolute disrepair. Locals have improvised housing and other facilities, however these places are unsafe and uncomfortable.
Already, the Pacific Typhoon season has started and is currently active. The Typhoon season lasts from May-October. Hiyan was extraordinary not just because of its category 5 strength, but also because it struck in early November, just after the close of the traditional storm season.
At any time, a typhoon can form again and strike the region. A few substantial storms have already struck the area, but nothing close to the force of Hiyan.
A rapidly-growing El Nino in the Pacific could also exacerbate storms in the region.
In the absence of an adequate government takeover of relief efforts, Your Catholic Voice Foundation has decided to send another tranche of food aid to the Philippines in a bid to sustain the thousands of people who need and deserve a place to live and food to eat.
Readers of Catholic Online and supporters of YCVF are asked to consider a gift of food for people in the Philippines. Donations collected over the next few weeks will once again be targeted towards that region.
It is clear that recovery in the Philippines is going to take longer than anticipated because the government still has not overcome the challenges associated with relief efforts. While the Philippine government focuses on large-scale efforts and is spending energy to relocate hundreds of thousands of people, the ordinary person still needs to eat. Deprived of a livelihood for nearly seven months, food donations from the west are the only thing still keeping chronic hunger and ill health at bay.
Children will remain the primary beneficiaries of the food aid.
Please give generously as we work to support ongoing relief efforts in the region.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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