cbm Canada – Responding to Crisis in the Philippines

( [email protected] ) Dec 24, 2011 12:32 PM EST

Stouffville, ON, December 24, 2011 - “The scale of the need in the Philippines is overwhelming,” says Ed Epp, cbm Canada’s Executive Director. “More than 674,000 people have been affected, and thousands are at risk of disease that can cause disability or death.”

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos urgently need humanitarian aid after Tropical Storm Washi swept through Mindanao Island early last Saturday. As people slept, more than a month’s worth of rain fell in less than 12 hours.

According to authorities, flash floods and landslides have left more than 327,000 displaced, over 1,000 dead and another 1,000 are still missing.

On Tuesday, December 20, Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of national calamity after visiting the hardest hit cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan at the north end of the island.

cbm Assessing Needs

cbm’s local partner, Philippine Service of Mercy Foundation, is based in Cagayan de Oro. They have reported that hundreds of bodies have been fished out from the rivers and many people with disabilities have been swept away.

“cbm’s partners are doing their best to ensure that people with disabilities and their families are safe and their specific needs are being included in emergency response operations,” says Epp.

Medical relief supplies should contain items such as catheters, epilepsy and hypertension medication, hearing aids, glasses, crutches and walkers.

Immediate emergency needs

Thousands of Filipino’s are crammed into overcrowded evacuation centres. Priority needs include clean water, sanitation and hygiene, temporary shelters and food. Blankets, tarpaulins, water-purifiers and clothing are also urgently needed.

cbm’s projects are a life-line for people with disabilities, especially during emergencies like this in the Philippines.

“cbm works to help prevent disabilities wherever possible and save, sustain and rebuild the lives of people with disabilities,” says Epp. “Please pray for the thousands of people affected in the Philippines, for the rescue workers, and cbm’s partners.”

South East Asia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions.

To learn more, please visit www.cbmcanada.org/emergency.