November 13, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: How to Help

 © Yi Wei Lim 2013

If you follow the news, you probably know that the strongest typhoon of 2013, named Typhoon Haiyan, occurred last week. Haiyan recorded wind speeds up to 315km/h, and made landfall in Micronesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam. 

Most severely affected was the Philippines, with Giuian, Eastern Samar, and Tacloban, Leyte, and some parts of Cebu being the worst-hit areas, despite earlier evacuation and preparation efforts. The death toll as of Tuesday is 1,774, but authorities and rescue teams fear that the actual number may rise to 10,000 (as of the writing of this post) as efforts are underway.

Via The Telegraph

Aerial view of the destruction in a town in Samar (via The Globe and Mail)

Meanwhile, at UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, Philippines climate change commissioner, Naderev "Yeb" Sano, has embarked on a fast after making an emotional speech, appealing for meaningful action to be taken regarding climate change and global warming. 

"Despite the massive efforts that my country had exerted in preparing for the onslaught of this storm, it was just a force too powerful, and even as a nation familiar with storms, Haiyan was nothing we have ever experienced before," he said (via CNN).

Sano challenged climate change skeptics to "get off their ivory towers" to visit communities all around the world battling flooding, forest fires, and hurricanes.

Typhoon Haiyan has undoubtedly caused a humanitarian emergency. How can you and I help?

Currently, I've been roped in for some planning for some fund-raising efforts which I hope will shape up as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you would like to donate, I've listed some organisations below. Note: before donating, please ensure that the organisations have a specific fund for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, whichever type you're comfortable with e.g. food, funds, or supplies, etc. Although I've checked them, please do so on your own too. Please also CHECK the website links / the donation pages when you donate, for security purposes. 

  • The Philippine Red Cross is deploying rescue and aid efforts.
  • UNICEF is supplying children with safe water, hygiene supplies, food, and a safe environment.
  • The UNHCR, the UN's Refugee Agency, is airlifting protection and hygiene kits to Tacloban.  
  • The International Rescue Committee has dispatched a team on the ground in the Philippines and launched a US$ 10 million appeal.
  • The Salvation Army accepts donations on its website. If you live in the States (not sure if it applies internationally), you can donate $10 by sending the text TYPHOON to 80888.
  • Mercy Corps is launching immediate relief effort. 
  • Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) has medical teams in Cebu already, and more medical personnel, logisticians, and psychologists are due to arrive soon. 

Let's support our Philippino brothers and sisters - including those abroad / in your country who must be worried sick for their countrymen - during this crisis.

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