Monday, December 09, 2013

Continuning to Remember the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

In the midst of our Advent reflections, it is appropriate to remember the victims of an unimaginable disaster that occurred only a month ago: Typhoon Haiyan.  As part of our prayers and actions, it is useful to get the big picture and become aware of the latest news.   

One month after Typhoon Haiyan tore through six Philippine islands, the death toll stands at 5,924 and 1,779 people are still missing, according to government figures released Sunday (December 8, 2013)," said CNN International. "More than 12 million people have been affected by the monster typhoon that left behind catastrophic scenes of destruction and despair when it made landfall on November 8, the government said. It left entire communities without immediate access to food and medical care.

There are many organizations providing assistance to communities that were ravaged by the storm. While much of the work involves providing food and shelter, UNICEF and others are offering an essential service: restoring water to communties like Tacloban, which was smack in the middle of the path of the storm. 

In this video, Michael Emerson Gnilo, a UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene specialist, explains how UNICEF worked with partners to restore Tacloban’s water supply and what water means to families and children in that city.

Tacloban is also the starting point for a mass measles immunization campaign in coming weeks. Click here to see an Infographic of How UNICEF is helping communities in the six islands affected by Haiyan.
 Among those urging continued support for the communities affected by Haiyan is actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens. The California native who has roots in The Philippines (via her mother) has tailored her message to urge us to help UNICEF provide assistance for 5.5 million children affected by the typhoon.

Here is what UNICEF says about its work with children in communities devastated by diasters. "When emergency strikes, you can help us make sure no child is forgotten. Within 48 hours UNICEF and its partners are on the ground providing food, shelter and protection. We work to reunite children with their families, care for those orphaned and counsel the traumatized."

Actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens speaks about the 5.5 million children in the Philippines affected by typhoon ‪#‎Haiyan‬. Help rush critical supplies. Donate here: ‪#‎ThereafterHaiyan‬

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