A relief campaign by the Philippine Jesuit Province to support survivors of Typhoon Haiyan is now entering the crucial rehabilitation phase. Four areas have been identified as critical: housing; livelihood; renewable energy and psychosocial and educational support.
Nearly three and a half million families were affected by the massive devastation unleashed by the deadly cyclone that made six major landfalls on different islands in the Philippines on 8 November 2013. More than 6,000 people were killed, many more were injured and some are still missing.
The social justice arm of the Philippine Jesuits, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), immediately started a campaign, mobilizing thousands of volunteers and social service agencies and launching a task force called “Rise Philippines.”
In the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, relief efforts focused on the delivery of emergency aid – food, water and medicines. With the help of a large contingent of volunteers, the SLB distributed 13,656 emergency packs, each containing 15kg of food items, 3,552 boxes of water and 1032 sacks of clothes. Most of the affected areas are small dispersed islands, with boats and barges completely destroyed, and they remained inaccessible for days.
Now it is time to work on rebuilding, helping survivors to piece their lives back together by focusing on where they live, their work, education and how they personally are dealing with all that has happened. SLB will implement this long and challenging phase in partnership with others who have relevant expertise.
The Jesuits have chosen to work in Cuilon in Palawan province, a large leper colony totally devastated by the typhoon. They are also working in Isabel, Naungan, Ormoc in Leyete province, and Guian, Hernani and Catbalogan city in Samar province.
CJI thanks everyone who contributed to this campaign. We count on your continued support for the next phase of the campaign.