Caritas Appeals for the Philippines

December 20, 2011 10:47 am
With well over 500 people missing, aid and development agency, Caritas Australia, has requested urgent public support from Australians to deal with the large-scale emergency response needed in the Philippines.
Typhoon Washi made landfall on last Friday evening in the eastern province of Agusan del Sur and crossed northern Mindanao. That storm caused severe flash flooding on last Friday night and early Saturday morning and continues to cause widespread devastation across northern Mindanao.
The floodwaters destroyed roads and infrastructure in numerous cities and towns, leaving many of them very difficult to access, making the immediate response even more challenging.
There have been more than 450 people reported dead and many more believed missing. The city of Cagayan de Oro City has suffered a great loss of life. In response Caritas Australia has opened its Philippines Floods Appeal.
“This is a very, very sad situation. We feel deeply for the families and individuals of the Philippines who have lost loved ones, friends and neighbours,” Caritas Australia CEO, Jack de Groot, said.
“It is extremely important that the emergency response is well supported and effective to reduce the physical and emotional toll such a disaster can have on communities like those now impacted in the Philippines.
“Caritas Australia, the Caritas Internationalis network and its partners are already engaged in long term programs in the region and more broadly in the Philippines, so we are very well placed to engage in an effective emergency response.
“We now need to dig deep and move in support of our neighbours across the Mindanao.”
The provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Sur are also among the most affected. The magnitude of the situation is still revealing itself. Little is known about the impact on some interior cities.
Representatives from the Caritas international network and local partners are working closely with the Philippine Government’s disaster response team. Caritas partners are currently conducting needs assessments, and aerial views of the region by helicopter are being carried out.
Four network staff will also meet with the Philippines Government’s disaster response team.
“The fact is, the sooner we can get on the ground in the affected regions and execute an emergency response, the better chance people will have of survival and access to required assistance.
“This is a tough time for many of us financially, but in the Philippines the need is great and we ask that you come forward in support. That will help to ensure both the short and long term responses are effective,” Mr de Groot said.
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