CAFOD have launched an emergency appeal in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan which swept across the Philippines last week with winds of up to 235 kph. The storm has caused massive destruction across the country, flattening thousands of houses, destroying schools and leaving communities shattered. Official sources are placing the death toll at upwards of 3500 – a figure that looks to increase as the full extent of the damage becomes known.
What is CAFOD doing?
CAFOD is working through its local partners in the Philippines to try and reach those most affected. The need of these vulnerable people is not only huge but immediate. Providing food, shelter and safety is a priority for those whose homes have been destroyed, as well as blankets, clothes and other essentials.
While many international aid convoys are unfortunately being held up in the Philippines because of logistical and security problems, local churches in the country are succeeding in reaching those communities in the most urgent need.
Father Anton Pascual, one of CAFOD’s church partners in the Philippines, said:
“We are reaching families across the region with food, water, tents and household items such as pots and pans. Transport and communications are our worst problems, but we are working to overcome these issues day by day.
“There have been reports of looting of aid on some roads making it difficult to reach the most remote villages, but we wear our priest collars and we are able to go through. People deeply respect the Church.”
What can I do?
When faced with such a huge disaster, it can be hard to see how you could possibly make a difference. There are a number of ways you can help with the appeal, both in your local community, individually and through prayer.
Anne-Marie Hanlon, CAFOD’s local manager for the Hexham and Newcastle area, said:
“However distressing the images of devastation and stories of suffering caused by Typhoon Haiyan, we cannot waste time on despair or shock – not when there are still lives to be saved, and communities in such desperate need of help.
“We have launched our emergency appeal alongside the other DEC agencies in response to the hundreds of schools, parishes and individuals in Newcastle and beyond who have contacted us to ask: ‘What can we do?’, showing the generosity and compassion that is always the hallmark of this community in times of crisis.”
For more information about the appeal, including downloadable fundraising resources for schools and parishes, please visit:
Say a prayer for those affected by this disaster: Typhoon Haiyan prayers