Typhoon Haiyan: Malteser International focuses help on thus far neglected islands
Additional relief planned for Samar, Bohol islands
While most of the media and aid organizations are focusing on the area in and around Tacloban City on Leyte Island in Typhoon Haiyan’s aftermath, Malteser International will provide relief in areas also urgently in need of aid, but that have thus far received little to no support, the organization reported Thursday. The assessment team reported from Bantayan Island, north of Cebu and on the direct path of the typhoon, where it made its third landfall last Friday.
“The residents told me the typhoon is the strongest that they have experienced. More than 90 percent of the houses in the area are destroyed – around 30,000 families need shelter,” reports Dr. Mel Capistrano, Malteser International’s disaster risk reduction advisor and leader of the assessment team.
Malteser International’s relief efforts will also focus on the islands of Samar and Bohol. Samar, one of the strongest-hit islands, can be reached from the north by ferry, but current waiting times are up to 36 hours. In addition to the 1,000 hygiene and food kits which will be distributed there in the coming days, Malteser International is currently purchasing additional relief goods, including water, rice, beans, kitchen utensils, blankets, sleeping bags and buckets. The Philippine Association of the Order of Malta has also sent out a mobile medical team with doctors and nurses to the towns of Basey, Marabut and San Sebastian on Samar. In Bohol, where the population was still recovering from an earthquake on Oct. 15., Malteser International plans to distribute vouchers for construction materials to displaced families.
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About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work.