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Christian charities respond to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan


Typhoon Haiyan, US Govt Satelite image

Local and international Christian aid organisations are mobilising in response to the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan, which is reported to have killed around 10,000 people in a single province of the Philippines and is now heading towards Vietnam.

The typhoon arrived in Tacloban city just a month after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol province, on a neighbouring island also in central Philippines. With the local authorities burdened by the impact of both disasters, governments around the world and aid organisations are helping to co-ordinate a response.

Among the Christian charities responding to the crisis are World Vision, the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Christian Blind Mission and Caritas.

Compassion says the typhoon has brought such destruction, communication with their child development centres has been very difficult. They believe around 99 centres, where 19,000 children are registered have been severely affected and 30 are in the hardest hit areas. Compassion Philippines has established a disaster team.

Meanwhile, Christian Blind Mission (CBM) is promising to help those who are injured or disabled by the typhoon, a group which is often overlooked in disaster response. According to CBM, “For every person that dies during a disaster, it is estimated that three people sustain an injury, many causing long-term disabilities.”

18 of World Vision’s long-term Area Development Programs have been affected by the typhoon. It has established an emergency response, and says it will assist 1.2 million people with food, non-food items, hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and protection in the affected area.

The international arm of Samaritan’s Purse has also deployed disaster response specialists to the area, working with local Christians to deliver relief in the form of tarps, blankets, hygiene kits and emergency food supplies.

Missionary organisations are also finding ways to help. The Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), an interdenominational radio network, says with people desperate for food and water, it’s been able to provide critical broadcasts directing people where to go to find help. They’re also providing messages of hope and encouragement in the midst of suffering. FEBC is inviting people to contribute to the distribution of FEBC radios to those in need.

OMF is also offering to help, and says you can give via their website, specifying your donation is for victims of the Philippinees Typhoon disaster Project: PH General relief P65145.

Feature image: Response to Typhoon Durian, the Philippines, in 2006. Credit: Rotary International.