Update of SVD Relief Operations
When Yolanda’s (Haiyan's) hours of rage subsided, images of grief, chaos and destruction in the Central Philippines emerged. The international community saw how the once thriving city of Tacloban was devastated; its people overwhelmed by fear, grief and loss.
The SVD Disaster Team of PHS immediately responded to the call for a massive humanitarian effort to aid the victims. Here is the latest information.
1) Relief operations are in full swing. Relief food packs are expected to be allocated to 10,000 families, many of whom are still starving. The allocation of relief goods for the first batch of “Bangon Igsuon (Stand up Brothers and Sisters) Relief Operation” covers the barangays (villages) of Bantayan Island . The total number of relief packs is 4,308, costing up to 40 euros for each pack. In the village of Guawanon alone, 1,495 relief packs are destined to supply 1,495 families.
2) To ensure the smooth and orderly distribution of relief packs, ten members of the JPIC staff have been sent to Bantayan Island. They are now coordinating with concerned citizens and groups to determine logistics in terms of crowd control and an appropriate distribution process, such as the use of claim coupons and documentation. The rapid assessment of the situation of Bantayan Island done by University of San Carlos in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, proved to be of great help in the organization of relief efforts.
3) Ten Divine Word Missionaries will be joining the relief operations including 25 volunteers from Janssenville, an SVD housing village, and 10 USC students and staff. It is noteworthy that some of our confreres are providing critical leadership in some key aspects of the relief operations. The repacking of relief packs has been zealously done by University of San Carlos students and other volunteers.
4) The relief operations for the city of Tacloban have already started. The Divine Word Hospital, the only operating hospital in the city (as described by international media), continues to receive the victims despite limited resources, especially medicines. Sister Eloisa and Sister Sarah, currently in charge of the hospital, are in the process of submitting a list of medicines needed. Some refugees are currently housed in Liceo del Verbo Divino (formerly known as Divine Word University, pictured left).
The target departure for relief goods to Tacloban is November 22. Our
confreres working in Tacloban will be involved in the operations. Support is also extended to employees of LVD and Radio Diwa who sought temporary refuge in Cebu City.
5) The relief operations are being scaled up to the next phase which is rebuilding and livelihood rehabilitation. This particular phase needs careful planning and an efficient implementation process. The relief operations in the first phase are providing the needed information on the situations of each affected area, families and individuals. That is why the relief operations process also includes necessary documentation for the SVD Disaster Team.
At a glance, with the devastation and great loss of lives and property, one is overwhelmed. As evident in the pace of relief operations staged by the Divine Word Missionaries, we are responsibly making use of resources available through your generosity to deal with the aftermath of super storm Yolanda and more specifically with the immediate needs of those who survived. Again, with you, we can say to those who survived the aftermath of the typhoon: “You are not alone”.
Thank you very much for your support.
Fr. Heinz Kulueke
You can donate to the SVD AUS Province Philippines Disaster Appeal by clicking here: https://secure4.everydayhero.com.au/event/donate-divineword/donate