MANILA, Oct. 24, 2015–Members of Caritas Internationalis in Europe and the United States pledge support amounting to P8.9 million to the Philippine Church’s ongoing relief operations for survivors of Typhoon Lando (Koppu).
In a statement, Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, said donors include Caritas Germany, which pledged P2 million; Caritas Spain, P2.5 million; Catholic Relief Services (CRS/Caritas USA), P2.12 million; and Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands), P2.32 million.
“These amounts would surely go a long way in helping those in need of immediate assistance, especially as many typhoon affected-communities have yet to receive humanitarian aid. To all Caritas-member countries, our heartfelt thanks again,” Gariguez said.
The priest said NASSA/Caritas Philippines expects more pledges from Caritas-member countries in the days ahead as relief operations in provinces affected by Lando continue.
The Church’s social action arm launched earlier an emergency appeal to the Caritas Internationalis confederation to provide P13.21-million worth of relief aid to at least 25,000 individuals in 15 provinces hit by “Lando.”
Affected provinces include Aurora,Quezon, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union, and Abra.
Since it entered the country last week, the typhoon killed at least 20 people, affected the livelihood of 300,000 more, and ravaged large tracts of agricultural lands in Northern Luzon.
“Lando” caused severe flooding, landslides, destroyed homes, struck down trees, and blocked roads. “Lando” came almost two years after super typhoon “Yolanda,” the most destructive storm that hit the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines has been rolling out various relief and rehabilitation programs to typhoon survivors through the support of the Caritas Internationalis network.
With 165 member countries, Caritas Internationalis is currently headed by Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines established a ‘Lando’ Monitoring Center inside the compound of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Intramuros, Manila. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)