By Daniel Horowitz--Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on November 8th, killing more than 4,000 while leaving a wide swath of destruction in its wake.
More than three-quarters of those killed were from the province of Leyte, of which Tacloban is the capital. Thousands more are injured, and many survivors have lost family members and their homes.
United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto’s Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund, created as soon as news of the tragedy spread, has already raised more than $171,000, all of which will go towards supporting the life-saving work of IsraAID, UJA’s partner agency, which has a team on the ground.
IsraAID continues to provide immediate medical and humanitarian relief to the most vulnerable communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan
"Over the past three days, our teams on the ground have treated more than 800 patients, among them 150 children," says the Founding Director of IsraAID, Shachar Zahavi. "Our team has also distributed urgent relief items including hygiene kits, food and clean water to over 1,800 families, with a priority going to families caring for elderly members, babies and young children. IsraAID will continue its distribution of goods in coordination with its international and local partners."
While responding to the immediate needs is israAID’s first priority, they are also continuing to develop key partnerships and strengthening their networks with various government ministries, UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to ensure that their current and future relief and rehabilitation efforts continue meet the priorities on the ground.
"We are currently in discussions with the local Ministry of Education who has requested our assistance in providing a ‘Training of Trainers’ (ToT) course in the area of psycho-social relief in Ormoc," says Zahavi. "The ministry has already identified 1,061 teachers who are ready for the training and require much support. The Typhoon destroyed much of the educational infrastructure, leaving thousands of students stranded. What little of the physical structures that remain are now home to hundreds of evacuee families who are in need of shelter."
To contribute to UJA's Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund,
please visit ujadonations.com/Philippines or call 416-631-5705.