Philippines Disaster – Update 2
Nearly one month after Typhoon Haiyan laid waste to the Philippines on November 8, more than 5,200 people are dead, nearly 1,800 remain missing, and approximately 4 million are displaced.
Infrastructure continues to present challenges to the delivery of relief supplies. Lines for ferries into some of the affected areas are still backed up. “For this reason,” says Bill Snider, AGWM area director for Southeast Asia, “relief efforts are currently more productively focused on Panay Island, North Cebu, and some other areas. At this point, we anticipate relief efforts ongoing for the month of December.”
As of December 2, Convoy of Hope has delivered 566,182 meals across the islands. Their team has determined that enough food is available to support the Children’s Feeding Initiative in Cebu (where the team is based) until the end of the year. Supplemental products will be purchased to ensure uninterrupted continuation of the feeding program.
COH distribution has also begun in some areas that were previously unreached.
Though reports are still coming in, Snider says that more than 100 churches were damaged or destroyed by Haiyan. At least 55 of them will have to be completely rebuilt.
“Our Filipino church leadership from the five affected districts met with the AG Philippines executive leadership and missionary leaders concerning the rebuilding process,” says Snider.
The basic approach in the rebuilding process is a steel frame structure and a metal roof equipped to withstand high winds. AGWM has been asked to assist in this effort.
“We are grateful to everyone who has given to help provide relief to the stricken areas,” says AGWM Communications Director Randy Hurst. “But the real work of rebuilding is just beginning. More than 100 churches need rebuilding or extensive repair in order to provide a place where the spiritual and emotional needs of people can be met. The effects of this massive storm will be felt for months to come, and we need to do all we can to continue to meet desperate physical needs of the suffering and also prepare to assist the church in its rebuilding efforts.”
You can view a two-minute video and contribute to the relief efforts by visiting crisisresponse.ag.org.