Day 315 Typhoon Haiyan

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in our own little world, with our own little problems. I admit that over the past few weeks, I’ve been caught up with my own problems: UCAS, schoolwork, grades… I sense a theme here. But I digress. What I’m trying to say is that it’s easy to care about ourselves too much, and to forget that there’s a whole other world out there. Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to remind us to look into the wider world.

And that’s exactly what’s happened. Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines over the weekend, and the statistics have shocked us all. Behind the statistics are real people, whose lives have been literally torn apart. It’s super scary to think that this devastation is only a 14 hour plane ride away, yet here we are, relatively unaffected by it.

This is why we all need to help. There are so many people right now who need our help, and it’s time to just give what we can. There isn’t a need for fun charity fundraising, because there just isn’t the time. The following list isn’t exhaustive, and was taken from the Guardian website.

The Philippine Red Cross is deploying rescue teams to affected areas of the country. The British Red Cross and the Australian Red Crosshave also launched appeals.

Unicef is asking for funds to help children in urgent need of access to safe water, hygiene supplies, food, shelter and a safe environment.

The UN’s World Food Programme is providing emergency food assistance to families and children.

Oxfam is raising funds to deploy water and sanitation materials to those affected.

ShelterBox is working to assist families affected by the typhoon.

Care is delivering food, water, shelter and other essentials to the survivors.

Save the Children has launched a typhoon Haiyan children’s relief fund to support their responses to urgent needs.

Christian Aid has deployed three rapid response teams to affected areas in Samar, Leyte and Panay to assess the needs of communities. It is working with local partners to provide food, shelter repair materials and hygiene kits.

ChildFund Australia is calling for donations to help provide emergency relief items and safe spaces for children.

Plan UK is providing shelters, hygiene kits and school equipment to families affected by the typhoon.

Australia for UNHCR has mobilised teams to pool resources, food and non-food items and distribute to victims of the typhoon. They’re sending 200 tonnes of medical equipment as well as adding to their on-the-ground team with extra personnel including medical staff and psychologists.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has sent an emergency team to Manila and launched a $10m appeal in order to implement the most appropriate response.

The World Food Programme plans to fly food, logistics and communications equipment to Cebu airport, which will become a hub for airlift through government partners to Tacloban.

Logistics equipment including mobile storage units, pre-fabricated offices and generators, is being sent from the UN humanitarian response depot (UNHRD) in Malaysia to set up operational hubs at Tacloban and Cebu airports. Some 300kg of IT equipment including digital radios are being sent from UNHRD in Dubai. The WFP is drawing upon $2m to buy high-energy biscuits and rice, but will be appealing for more funds as the needs become clearer.

HelpAge is working with the coalition of services of the elderly (COSE), to send staff to affected areas. It is developping a relief plan to meet older people’s most urgent needs.

ActionAid has put a local assessment team on standby in Vietnam.

MSF’s emergency teams arrived in the Philippines on Saturday. Four cargo planes carrying 329 tonnes of medical and relief items will arrive in the coming days, flying out of Dubai and Ostende.

UNHCR, the UN agency for refugees, plans an emergency airlift of tents, plastic sheets, blankets, mats, water containers and cooking utensils for 16,000 families. UNHCR will also distribute 50,000 solar lanterns.

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