WELLINGTON — Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched an Appeal and will contribute at least NZ$100,000 to relief efforts in the Philippines following the deadly impact of super-Typhoon Haiyan on November 8.
Caritas had initially committed $10,000 towards relief in the central Visayas area after an October 15 earthquake centred on Bohol that affected three million people. The typhoon has further impacted this and other areas, and much more help is needed.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is working through NASSA (Caritas Philippines) along with other Caritas member agencies. Teams are assessing immediate needs for food, water, clothing and shelter, among the 9.5 million people thought to be affected by the latest typhoon.
“A picture of massive devastation is emerging from our contacts on the ground,” said Caritas director Julianne Hickey. “We fear the scale of destruction in yet unreached areas will be catastrophic, as many of the areas affected are among the Philippines’ poorest communities. As well as loss of life and homes, people’s livelihoods from farming, livestock and fishing are greatly affected.”
The hardest-hit communities have no water, no food and no electricity. Families from informal settler communities are the worst hit by the storm surge and need immediate assistance according to the local church.
“It’s the strongest and biggest storm that has hit the country,” said the head of Caritas Philippines-NASSA, Fr Edwin Gariguez. “It’s hit an area already devastated by an earthquake. We are in great need. It’s a really big calamity.’”
‘We will support the emergency response through to long-term recovery,” said Ms Hickey. “Caritas expresses its heartfelt condolences and prayers to the Filipino community in Aotearoa New Zealand as they wait for more news from their homeland and loved ones.”
Donations to Caritas can be made by:
Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations;
Phoning 0900 4 11 11 to make an automatic $20 donation from your phone bill;
Donating online using a credit card at www.caritas.org.nz; or
Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.