The Philippines: Helping each other in times of emergency

Sunday afternoons in the Philippines are, in normal times, peaceful affairs – a time to relax, reflect and spend time with one’s family. But in Nabunturan, in the heart of Compostela Valley in Mindanao, these are far from normal times. This valley was one of the areas worst hit by Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo), which struck the Philippines at the beginning of December.

And the municipal hall, far from being peaceful, is abuzz with activity. Through one door comes a steady flow of men carrying 20kg bags of rice over their shoulders, marked with the logos of the World Food Programme, Australian AID and the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Government of the Philippines. All around are boxes and bags with tins of fish, meat and noodles, many donated by private individuals and companies. All donations are recorded by officials, and noted on a large white board by the main office.

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