MANILA, Oct. 4, 2011–Catholic Church’s aid agencies launched a major appeal Tuesday on behalf of the victims of recent typhoons in the Philippines.
With the scale of disaster victims increasing, the Caritas Filipinas including the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said a coordinated national appeal for donations was needed.
Aid has been reaching some of the worst affected areas since last week but access to remote areas that are still under floodwater is difficult for rescue and relief teams.
Caritas Filipinas said an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 families are affected, with 30,000 currently living in evacuation centers.
It said the number could still rise as floods, particularly in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, have not yet receded.
“Their situation worsens day by day due to inadequate administrative assistance and prevailing bad weather. Urgent relief and recovery assistance are vital to lessen the people’s vulnerabilities from disaster,” Caritas said.
“Please extend your assistance in our relief operations and for a long-term involvement. The need is dire and we all must act with the greatest possible urgency to rush aid and relief to those affected,” it added.
According to Fr Edu Gariguez, Caritas Filipinas executive secretary, an initial P1 million from its Alay Kapwa fund has also been set aside to support the immediate needs of the displaced families.
Among the items urgently needed by the affected families, he said, include sleeping mats, blankets, jerry cans, clothes, kitchen sets, cooking utilities, hygiene materials, and tarpaulins.
Gariguez appealed for financial assistance that may be coursed through the PhilTrust Bank account of “CBCP CARITAS FILIPINAS FOUNDATION, INC.” through account number 00320-013778-3.
He also related that the Caritas foundations in Norway, Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand have already made pledges of assistance. [CBCPNews]