DEC member Age International has begun (working through partners) distributing money to older people in the Philippines, to give them the flexibility to buy the things they need to rebuild their lives. They update on the work so far and speak to some of those they've been helping.
“Finally, I have something to rebuild my house. I will buy nails and nipa roof with this amount. I can have my house again.” - Maria Chavez, 75 years old, receiving a cash grant.
Previous: Food being delivered
•Food packs are being distributed together with other essential items such as towels and T shirts.
•We're reaching older people in remote areas by using motorbikes to navigate roads strewn with debris.
•Tents are being provided to those most in need. .
Guellerma, 63 was one of the first to receive a food pack. He said: "Thank you so much, we're very happy about this. We're tenant farmers but haven't worked since the typhoon because much of the sugar cane was destroyed and the irrigation has been blocked."
“Frankly right now, food, water and shelter come first.” - Eva Maria Lansin, programme coordinator
Our first priority is getting food to older people in the Philippines. Older people can’t endure long queues for food and sometimes they can’t open packs or digest the food. Our age-friendly food packs are designed so that older people are able to open them and eat them with ease.
We’re sending out age-friendly food packages containing rice, salt, noodles, dried fish and other foodstuffs. One food pack will feed a family for a whole week.
Shelter for the rainy season
“The rainy season has only just started and will continue until February. People need shelter now. Without coverage, older people’s health will suffer drastically” - Eva Maria Lansin, programme coordinator
Shelter is essential to prevent older people’s health from declining sharply over the coming rainy months. We are procuring shelter kits and coordinating with emergency shelter agencies.
Next steps - Essential items
Once these basic needs are met, we will distribute household and personal kits that will be specific to older people’s needs. This includes packs with mosquito nets, flashlights, buckets and other essentials.
Recovering from trauma
As you can imagine – losing your home, your belongings, and your loved ones is an incredibly traumatic experience for anyone to have to go through.
We are in the process of setting up help desks for older people in 16 evacuation centers - to ensure they know what assistance is available to them.
We are also going to begin training in psycho-social support for 37 older people's organisations (OPOs). That way, we can help 3,000 older people to overcome the trauma of this devastating typhoon.