For Immediate Release
Race Against Time to Reach Communities Devastated by Typhoon Haiyan
LONDON - Oxfam is gearing up its aid efforts after one of the worst natural disasters to hit the Philippines in years. The international agency is looking to raise $16 million to reach half a million people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Oxfam’s Deputy Humanitarian Director, Graham Mackay, said: “This is one of the worst natural disasters in years to hit the region and it will be a race against time to get help to the communities that have been devastated.”
Oxfam’s rapid assessment teams have been deployed to Samar, Leyte and Northern Cabu to provide emergency supplies of water, sanitation and shelter. An aid shipment from the UK is expected to be dispatched within the next 48 hours.
Graham Mackay said: “Our main concern is getting relief to the worst affected areas. Because communications are down the real extent of this horrific disaster is still not known.”
Current estimates are that 4.46 million people – nearly one million families – from 36 provinces have been affected and over 10,000 people are thought to have lost their lives.
The most urgent needs are for food, water and shelter. Communities also need to have power and communications restored and roads need to be cleared so that aid can get through.
Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.