Funding needed for typhoon relief in the Philippines

By December 6, 2006

Philippines (MNN) — As search and rescue teams continue to retrieve bodies from the mud and debris following Typhoon Durian, Christians are gearing up to help the survivors.

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Jacob Kramer says the hardest hit areas were villages that were along the volcanic slopes of Mt. Mayon. The slopes were layered with volcanic debris. Kramer says typhoon rains made it deadly. “Part of that has move in the millions of tons and covered the village of Pagang. We are talking about more than 500 people dead and all the crops have been destroyed.”

According to Kramer, the CRWRC is still in the emergency phase of the relief effort. “People have, by the thousands, have left these areas and are staying in other villages where they go with neighbors or people they know. We are starting with some temporary houses.”

He expects the emergency relief effort to last about four to six weeks, but one need will be long lasting. “I see a need for a long term food effort because so much of the crops (were) damaged. People in the villages really depend on their rice crops to survive there.”

Kramer says they’re working with the local church for one very good reason. “They demonstrate the real nature of the Gospel and bring it to the people in need and it becomes an intricate part of society and community.”

Funding is the biggest need right now.

CRWRC and its Filipino partners have been on the site since soon after the disaster struck. There, they have been meeting with affected people and churches to determine where food and shelter is most needed. In addition to meeting these physical needs, CRWRC plans to send teams of counselors to the region to provide trauma healing and counseling.

Gifts to CRWRC’s “Philippines Typhoon” response can be given online at www.crwrc.org or by calling 1-800-552-7972 (US) or 1-800-730-3490 (Canada).

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