Churches reaching typhoon-hit communities in the Philippines to meet their urgent needs

23 December 2013

A month after Typhoon Haiyan the beneficial effects of Anglican appeals are being seen across the Philippines as Church volunteers reach out to the most hard-hit communities.  

With the help of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, the United Church of Christ and ‘We Govern’, 13,141 families have so far been reached with food packs across the devastated region.

Led by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and the ACT Alliance, the distribution was held in the towns of Hernani, Balangkayan and Lawa-an in Eastern Samar; Basey and Marabut in Western Samar; Catbalogan City, Samar; and Albuera Leyte.  

NCCP-ACT Alliance has now started the second round of emergency assistance for food security.

Hygiene kits (bath soaps, laundry soaps, toothbrushes, toothpastes, water buckets with cover, sanitary napkins, ladies underwear and bath towels), kitchen utensils (plastic basins, cooking pots, serving spoons, plates, soup bowls, tumblers spoons and forks) and beddings (mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets), were also distributed to up to 400 families in Hernani.

And in the coming days more urgent supplies will be distributed to a further 3,500 families in Iloilo and Capiz, in the more remote Western Visayas.

Jonathan Sta. Rosa of NCCP recently visited Tacloban with the ACT Alliance.  He said, 

“A month has passed and yet the destruction the typhoon wrought is still very much visible. It is as if the city was ravaged by war — roofless houses, debris of concrete walls and fences, shattered glasses from windows and vehicles, wood and iron sheets — are everywhere. Trucks were overturned by the roadside and garbage are still strewn on the highway. The air reeks of foul smell brought about by decaying carcasses.”

According to the UN Food Security and Agriculture cluster, food security gaps persist in 48 municipalities across affected regions of the Central Philippines.  

Local NGOs and Civil Society Organisations like NCCP have been called on to fill these gaps, and NCCP and ECP are working effectively to meet these needs, as well as providing solar power to communities, which is providing much needed light to their darkened homes.

The work of NCCP and the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) is supported by Anglican Agencies around the world through their appeals. You can still support this important work by donating using the following links: Anglican Board of Mission (Australia), Anglican Overseas Aid (Australia), Episcopal Relief and Development (US), Primates World Relief and Development Fund (Canada), Us. – formerly USPG (UK)

Floyd Lalwet, ECP’s Director of Community-Based Development Program, was concerned last month that food packs should contain healthier and culturally appropriate food, rather than standard emergency rations.

To meet these needs ECP have scaled up their food processing so they can send out improved food packs to communities in the typhoon affected areas. They are preparing and packing vegetable noodles, vegetable soup/stew, and camote (sweet potato) biscuits (pictured above).