Philippines

Caritas with communities following Super Typhoon Goni in the Philippines

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Caritas Philippines (NASSA) is in communities providing food and assessing needs following the devastating impact of Super Typhoon Goni. The typhoon hit the Philippines on 1st November and is said to be the most powerful storm since Haiyan in 2013.

Goni, known as Rolly in the Philippines, has caused massive flooding, landslides and damaged many homes, crops and telecommunications on Luzon Island. Initial reports say that at least 17 people have died and over 400,000 people are sheltered in evacuation centres while tens of thousands more are staying with families and friends. It's estimated that over one and a half million people have been affected over all.

Caritas' rapid assessment teams are strengthening monitoring on the ground. Two teams left for Bicol and southern Luzon on Wednesday. Staff say food, first aid kits, shelter, blankets, kitchen utensils and supplies and toiletries are among the most urgent needs for those affected. A global emergency appeal is planned this week to raise funds to help communities.

Bishop Colin Bagaforo, NASSA/Caritas Philippines' National Director said in a statement, "While we urge everyone to continue praying for safety, we also appeal for help. The typhoon brought greater poverty to our communities severely affected by the typhoon, as they have also been battling against the effects of COVID-19. So with humility, we appeal for everyone's sincere acts of kindness, generosity and compassion.

"We specially urge ethical business and private corporations to help. We need everyone to help restore the dignity of our despairing communities," said Bishop Bagaforo.

Caritas Caceres prepositioned food packs ready for distribution to the most affected parishes before the typhoon hit. Caritas Sorsogon is providing hot meals while the Diocese of Lucena provided rice, noodles and canned goods to parishes.

Fears are high regarding the impact overcrowding in evacuation centres will have on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. People who were already poor and vulnerable are particularly at risk in the aftermath of the typhoon.