ONE of the charities mobilising a response team following last Friday’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines is Irish charity GOAL.
The aid agency has dispatched an emergency response team to the Philippine island of Leyte, one of the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan.
An emergency appeal has also been launched by GOAL to help support some of those worst-affected. Apart from the now revised figure of 2,500 people already feared dead (initially 10,000), an estimated 500,000 have been left without homes, and these figures are expected to rise in the coming days.
The Irish organisation is focusing initial efforts on Tacloban city and its localities, and will evaluate the damage, conduct a needs assessment and support rescue efforts in the area.
GOAL’s Darren Hanniffy told the Irish World: “We’re hearing that whole areas have been wiped out, and we expect the situation to get worse. Having said that, we know it is possible for survivors of a disaster to stand a good chance of survival. In Haiti, for example, we were able to significantly limit loss of life through contaminated water and food. We’re hoping to do the same in the Philippines.”
He added: “We know from experience with similar disasters that we’re entering a stage where people who have been lucky enough to survive the disaster are realising they have lost family members and friends.”
“People will be in a state of shock and be paralysed by that. Then they will start realising food, water – emergency needs – are missing, and panic will set in. We know that looting has occurred, people are in panic mode and wondering where the aid is coming from.
“This is the time where agencies like GOAL are on the ground and defining where the greatest need is, developing logistical routes to get supplies in and implement that aid. “
The Irish government has committed €1 million in non-food items to the Philippines.
To donate £5 to GOAL’s Haiyan Emergency Appeal text “GOAL05 £5” to 70070. To donate £10, text “GOAL17 £10” to 70070. For larger amounts, send via cheque payable to GOAL UK at 7A Hanson Street, London, W1W 6TE, or call 020 7631 3196.