ChildFund Reaches Ravaged Communities in the Philippines

by Virginia Sowers | ChildFund | ChildFund International - USA
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 22:29 GMT

ChildFund’s emergency response team is among the first NGOs to reach Ormoc, where thousands of families have lost homes. (Photo: ChildFund International)

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ChildFund is on the ground responding to Super Typhoon Haiyan. More than 9 million people, including as many as 4.5 million children, have been impacted in the Philippines. Many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter and clean drinking water.

Thousands are feared to have been killed and survivors desperately require aid. Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity, and the U.N. has called for a "massive response" to the humanitarian disaster.

ChildFund is in Ormoc on Leyte Island and reports 90 percent devastation. Erwin Galido, ChildFund’s emergency team leader, said, “There is loss of life and some looting. Food will run out here in three days. If aid doesn’t reach here very soon, people will become desperate and the situation will deteriorate.”

One of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall, Haiyan struck the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar Nov. 8. It then headed west, sweeping through six central Philippines islands. ChildFund has finally reached communities cut off since the storm in Bacolod, Roxas City and Iloilo. Katherine Manik, ChildFund’s country director in the Philippines, said, “The full extent of the devastation is still unclear. There is great need in many communities. ChildFund’s short-term goal is to provide for the immediate needs of those impacted by the storm. We are distributing food, water and essential non-food items at evacuation camps and providing psychosocial support for children by creating Child-Centered Spaces, or safe havens, for children to gather. Children are clearly traumatized.”

ChildFund is currently focusing its response in Iloilo, Roxas, Negros Occidental and Ormoc, where we work with local partner organizations. Manik said, “With these local partners, ChildFund is in a strong position to respond to disasters. They help with the distribution of relief items for immediate needs, and they mobilize volunteers. They also support local coordination as they have strong relationships with local government units and are embedded in the local systems. Local partners are key in the emergency response.”  

ChildFund has already committed funds, but much more is needed. ChildFund and members of the ChildFund Alliance have set a goal of $10 million for response to immediate needs and long-term recovery. Funds will support those impacted, particularly children. To make a donation to assist those devastated by the typhoon, please visit