Philippines Typhoon: Six Months On

News and Press Release
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In the six months since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, your donations have helped tens of thousands of families to rebuild their lives.

The typhoon that hit the Philippines on 8 November 2013 was one of the most powerful ever to make landfall. It tore apart the communities of more than 14 million people and left at least five million homeless.

You have responded with amazing generosity to our Philippines Typhoon Haiyan appeal, donating more than £5.3 million in the first six months. Across England and Wales, schools and parishes have held a huge variety of fundraising events to support CAFOD’s appeal: for example, the CAFOD group at St Bonaventure's High School in Forest Gate, East London held a ‘Tache for Cash’ moustache day, raising £838.64, while pupils at St Richard Gwyn High School in Barry and St Illtyd’s High School in Cardiff raised more than £1,200 through a concert and curry event.

Your amazing generosity is helping us to rebuild lives and futures. Please continue to give to our appeal>>

Thanks to your compassion, we have worked with the local Church and with our partners in the Caritas network of Catholic agencies to deliver food, water, shelter and emergency supplies to tens of thousands of vulnerable families across the country – and to help people who lost everything rebuild their lives and earn a living again.

Thanks to your commitment to helping those in greatest need, our work has included:

•Supporting local priests and church volunteers in providing thousands of food packs and shelter kits to devastated communities across the 9 worst affected dioceses in the country

•Delivering food, shelter and emergency kits to remote islands, using convoys of local fishing-boats

•Providing more than 100,000 people with emergency hygiene kits to help prevent the spread of disease

•Supplying clean water to devastated communities - including installing 49 hand pumps and regularly trucking water to 17 'water bladders' in some of the worst-hit areas

•Preventing the contamination of water supplies and the spread of disease by constructing or repairing safe communal latrines, including specially-adapted latrines for disabled people

•Establishing “Cash-for-work” schemes, which have employed people to clear debris and restore farms in exchange for money to pay for food and repairs to their homes

•Supplying tools, seeds and training to thousands of farmers whose crops had been destroyed, to help them rebuild their lives

•Providing fishing-boats to replace those that were destroyed on Palawan island

•Deploying CAFOD water engineers and protection specialists to provide expert support to our Church partners.

Fr Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of our Church partner Caritas Philippines, said: “We thank the Catholic community of England and Wales for their magnanimous expression of solidarity. We send you our sincerest gratitude, on behalf of the people we serve.”

In a country where 80 per cent of the population is Catholic, the local Church and the Caritas family of aid agencies have played a leading role in the emergency response, reaching hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Over the coming months, we will work with local communities to construct permanent schools and homes that are designed to offer extra protection against future typhoons, and to ensure that people are better prepared for future disasters. We will also continue to support farmers to make a living again, and to improve water and sanitation systems.

An estimated 5.9 million workers lost their sources of income as a result of the typhoon, and an estimated 33 million coconut trees were torn down or damaged. Read just one of the ways we are helping farmers to earn a living again>>

As people continue to rebuild their lives, please keep all those affected in your thoughts and prayers>>