A Three-member Team Setting off for the Philippines

Published: Nov 11, 2013 Reading time: 4 minutes
A Three-member Team Setting off for the Philippines
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Prague (11th November 2013) – Only now, three days after Typhoon Haiyan swept through six central Philippine islands, one can feel a real sense of the disaster scope. The cyclone has directly hit nine million people, while hundreds of thousands are suffering from lack of drinking water and food. Initial estimates of the Philippine authorities suggest that at least 23 thousand houses have been totally destroyed and some 618,000 people have ended up homeless. According to the Philippine Red Cross no less than 1,200 have died and other thousands of bodies are buried under heaps of debris.

At the moment, a three-member team of the People in Need Organization is setting off for the Philippines: “It is essential that the team gets to the afflicted areas as soon as possible so that they can participate in coordinating the work of humanitarian organizations, and thus start helping within a few days”, says Šimon Pánek, Managing Director of People in Need, and he continues: “We are expecting the most pressing needs to be created with respect to supplies of water, essential food items or hygiene kits. Subsequently, it will be necessary to put up temporary shelters or establish safe centres for children in IDP camps. Moreover, the affected people will get an opportunity to make some extra money through the Cash for Work project, for example debris removal,” adds Šimon Pánek while he points out that the rehabilitation will take at least two years.

“Our relief operation will be coordinated right on the spot with ACTED, Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide organizations which are partnered with us within the Alliance2015 platform,” Šimon Pánek concludes.

Aid can be sent directly to the SOS Philippines charity account

IBAN: CZ77 0300 0000 0000 3789 3789
account name: CLOVEK V TISNI, O. P. S.
address: Safarikova 24, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic
bic/swift: CEKOCZPP
bank: CSOB, a.s. (Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka, a.s.)
bank address: Na Porici 24, 115 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic

Click here for a tax deduction.

The People in Need team is supposed to focus on providing aid especially in areas that are below the radar of the media attention. “The team is going to assess the needs in the regions such as Eastern Samar, where the extent of the disaster is expected to be significant, as for instance in the case of the Guiuan municipality which happened to be the first one in the typhoon’s track. At the same time, it is extremely difficult to get to the catastrophe’s epicentre. We can fly only as far as Cebu Island, then you have to travel by ship and on the ground”, says PIN Relief Programmes Manager Marek Štys.

Almost instantly, the Vodafone Foundation offered a helping hand. “The Vodafone Foundation will double the amount of all DMS (donor messages) sent to help the Haiyan Typhoon victims until 1st December or until the sum of one million Czech crowns is raised. Thus, we would like to encourage people to support the efforts of the Czech humanitarian organizations in the Philippines,” Ondřej Zapletal, the Vodafone Foundation Director, says. In fact, this means that the foundation will add up 30 CZK to each DMS sent from the Vodafone telephone number.

In addition to that, the Vodafone Foundation has pledged to send a one-off financial donation of 500,000 CZK to the SOS Philippines fundraising campaign. Simultaneously, People in Need immediately released another 500,000 CZK from the People in Need Club of Friends relief fund to aid the typhoon victims.

Rescue workers spending hours to do a few kilometres

Currently, the work of rescue workers is being made difficult particularly by virtually destroyed infrastructure. Due to damaged roads, airports, bridges and ubiquitous debris, they are unable to reach the devastated areas quickly. For instance, the return journey from the severely ravaged city of Tacloban, which is only 11 kilometres far, takes six hours to complete. 

As reported by the sources right on the spot, people in numerous cut-off areas are facing shortage of food, drinks and the wounded are often surviving in the open air as there are no shelters.  Furthermore, the weather forecast for the next few days suggests heavy rain, which would make the rescue effort in the affected areas even more complicated. For example, people in Tacloban have already started digging up mass graves, where they are burying hundreds of their fellow citizens.

For more information please contact:

Marek Štys, PIN Relief Programmes Manager, +420 777 053 522, Marek.Stys@clovekvtisni.cz

You can also send an email to: sos.filipiny@clovekvtisni.cz

Autor: Petr Štefan, Media Coordinator