Caritas is helping survivors in the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan, which cut a 30-mile-wide swath of destruction. Local name Yolanda, the storm was one of the most powerful ever recorded and left millions without food, clean water, and shelter.
Nearly 12 million people are in need of help, with over 500,000 houses damaged or destroyed. Over 3000 people lost their lives.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines-NASSA, said, ““We have never faced anything of this magnitude. We greatly appreciate the support and solidarity from around the world. By working together in a coordinated way, we can help save lives and rebuild communities.”
Caritas Philippines immediately began providing aid through the parishes, while international relief arrived from around the world. Caritas combined relief efforts will reach over half a million people with shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation, essential living supplies and the means to generate income.
Pope Francis pleaded for aid for the survivors in the Philippines when he said, “Sadly, there are many, many victims and the damage is huge. Let’s try to provide concrete help.”
Caritas Updates from the Philippines
In total, Caritas Switzerland is supporting 9,000 families on Bantayan and neighbouring islands – some of them only reachable by small fishing boats.
In Palo, the diocesan driver told us how he huddled together with his family at the height of the storm as their roof was blown away and watched in fear as three big waves came in succession towards their village
One month since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, Caritas organisations have been providing aid to affected communities.