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Ormoc city in western Leyte. Shops are closed and streets are full of debris. This photo was taken by Arlynn Aquino in November 2013 after Typhoon Haiyan.
Ormoc city in western Leyte. Shops are closed and streets are full of debris. Photo: Arlynn Aquino EU/ECHO, Leyte, Philippines, November 2013 (CC BY-ND)

Church solidarity after typhoon

The Uniting Church is working to support the people of the Philippines through its agencies and partner churches after the devastating arrival of super typhoon Haiyan, but needs your help, writes Marnie Frost from UnitingWorld.

Super typhoon Haiyan—one of the worst storms ever recorded—crossed the Philippines on Friday 8 November, killing, injuring and displacing thousands of people and destroying whole communities.

The Philippine National Government estimates that 9.5 million people have been affected, with almost 620 000 displaced. The most severely affected communities are along the coast.

The Uniting Church relief and development unit UnitingWorld remains in close contact with its partner church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and its volunteers. They are reporting back with scenes of complete devastation; entire communities have been damaged, whole families lost and livelihoods destroyed. The full extent of typhoon Haiyan’s damage will remain unclear for some time, but media reports in the days after suggest as many as 10 000 people have died.

UnitingWorld National Director Rev Dr Kerry Enright is calling for support.

“People in the Philippines are familiar with natural disasters but this is on an unprecedented scale. We are shocked by the extent of the damage and the impact on people and their communities,” he says.

“We need to stand with our partner church and the people of the Philippines with prayer and practical support at this time.”

UnitingWorld is seeking support for emergency relief efforts to respond to ongoing critical needs, and is working through the ACT Alliance network to coordinate relief efforts.

The Filipino National Conference of the Uniting Church is also calling its members and congregations to help using whatever means they have as the devastation continues.

Gabby Ocampo, Convenor of the Filipino National Conference, says financial assistance is vital.

“People are in need of emergency food and water, clothing, shelter and medicines,” he says. “They are running out of resources and are panicking frantically in search of food and clothing amongst the debris left by the typhoon. Whatever financial assistance we can raise we will send via UnitingWorld.”

Marnie Frost

Please donate to the UnitingWorld Philippines Emergency Relief Appeal at unitingworld.org.au/philippines-typhoon-appeal or call 1800 998 122.

All donations to this appeal are tax deductible.

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