Efforts Aim at Helping Philippine Storm Victims
Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the Philippines earlier this month, causing nearly 4,000 deaths, the Guardian reports. In response to the tragic storm Americans geared up to help.
Team Rubicon, which is made up of military veterans who work with first respondents, prepared packages of food, supplies and medical items and plans to begin rebuilding communities throughout the Philippines. This group has traveled to regions hit by floods and earthquakes as well as war zones and other places where aid is needed.
The U.S. Government promised $20 million to assist in relief efforts. About half will be used to send 10,000 hygiene kits, and the other half will go toward airlifting more than 50 tons of emergency food from Florida; this will feed at least 20,000 children under 5 and 15,000 adults for an estimated five days, reported NBC News.
Many organizations and volunteers have gathered together to help communities affected by the storm. According to the Examiner, American Red Cross has deployed 10 specialists to help coordinate shelters, distribute supplies, assist with telecommunications and assess the damage. The Red Cross also brought items so people can stay warm and clean themselves.
“The best way to help is for people to send money, to UNICEF, to the Philippines Red Cross, to the American Red Cross,” said Bing Cardenas Branigan of the Asia America Foundation and the National Association of Filipino Americans.
People who want to donate to the American Red Cross to support the response can go to redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.
According to the Global Red Cross website, specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippines Red Cross. Red Cross teams have expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.
Local organizations participate in their own ways. A Philippine Church near D.C. prays for their homeland, according to Voice of America. At the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Md., not far from Washington, D.C., a reported 50 churchgoers gathered following their pastor’s call for help.
“This is not the first time that this is happening,” Pastor Nardito Manalang said. “All of us were saddened and shocked actually by the impact of it. Today, we took a special offering to give people a chance to write a second check- a separate envelope designated just for this… as part of our international involvement.”
President Barack Obama made a statement: “In the days ahead, the United States will continue to work with the Philippines to deliver whatever help we can, as quickly as possible.”