In the wake of torrential rain and destruction brought by Typhoon Morakot, World Vision Taiwan has assisted more than 4,000 people with urgently needed food, water and emergency supplies. The typhoon struck Taiwan on August 7 and 8 bringing heavy rainfall causing flooding and mudslides around the country.
"Typhoon Morakot's impact has been devastating," said Hank Du, Executive Director for World Vision Taiwan. "Many children and families have had their homes and livelihoods swept away. Our prayers are with them and with those grieving the loss of loved ones."
"We will work quickly to restore hope for children who have lost everything."
Government authorities have confirmed that 126 people were killed and over 300 remain missing. After the typhoon hit some 24,775 people were evacuated; nearly 5,000 are now living in shelters. The death toll is expected to increase, however, as mudslides are feared to have buried hundreds in the worst storm to have hit Taiwan in the past 50 years.
World Vision has been assisting underprivileged children and their families for 45 years in Taiwan. Relief goods were positioned in many of the affected areas before Typhoon Morakot hit, enabling staff to quickly reach people with food, clean water, and basic hygiene kits.
World Vision is currently providing assistance in 30 shelters across the counties of Pingtung, Taitung, Chiayi, Kaoshiung, and Nantou.
Child friendly spaces
Five hundred staff and over 1,000 volunteers have been mobilised to distribute relief kits and set up child friendly spaces.
The eight child friendly spaces have provided a safe place space for 280 severely distressed children to receive psychosocial care.
World Vision Taiwan is appealing to corporate and individual donors to raise NT500 million (US$15 million) for relief and rehabilitation projects over the next three years.
In the mountainous regions of south and east Taiwan, mudslides have partially or completely buried villages. Roads and bridges were heavily damaged causing major difficulties for aid workers attempting to rescue survivors and deliver aid.
Over the past week, the Government of Taiwan and military authorities have worked to rescue thousands of people stranded in the mountains.
Massive flooding in low-lying areas has washed away homes and businesses, leaving behind a significant clean-up effort ahead.
Thousands of evacuees from the mountains or flooded areas are staying at shelters established by local authorities or finding refuge with friends and relatives.