In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, our partner ministry in the Philippines has been mobilized to distribute relief. The damage to critical infrastructure on the Island of Leyte has been extensive making communication challenging, but we have since received some more information from the field.
Our local partner has identify 4 priorities to bring relief to typhoon victims most effectively:
1. Distribute Food, Water and Medicine
The first priority is to provide food, water and medicine to the areas that need it the most. Our local partner has 17 churches in Leyte Province where Haiyan hit, and each church aims to help 200 families. In total, they expect to bring relief to 3,400 families, or about 17,000 individuals. The most immediate need is to buy and distribute rice to feed the hungry families who have had tremendous difficulty obtaining food after the typhoon. Our local partner will be able to use their network of churches as distribution points for the food to help reduce distribution costs.
Since Tacloban City (in the Eastern part of the Island of Leyte) has already been the focus of governement and international relief, our partner has decided that it is best to start with distribution in the western part of the Island of Leyte. From there they can then expand relief efforts to the rest of the province.
2. Provide Supplies to Rebuild
The next priority is to assist in the repair and rebuilding of victims’ houses, especially their roofs. Many homes were badly dammaged or destroyed by Haiyan and many families are trying desperately to build anything where they can sleep at night. Our local partner hopes to provide 170 families with roofing supplies to rebuild their homes.
3. Establish Local Churches as Community Centres
The third priority is to establish our partner’s local churches as centers of community service. In the coming months local churches will play a strategic role in meeting the needs of communities as they begin to rebuild.
4. Provide Ongoing Food Relief for Children
The fourth priority is to provide a daily feeding program for children for 2 months in all 17 of our partner’s churches. In the wake of a natural disaster, children are some of the most vulnderable. Through this program, our partner will be able to reach about 850 of the poorest children affected by the disaster.
Finally, while meeting the immediate physical needs of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, our local partner is also committed to meeting the spiritual needs of victims as they begin to rebuild their lives. In the coming months, our local ministry leader will be preaching and teaching in the affected areas, helping people to cope and move forward in the wake of this natural disaster.