(Bangkok) November 18, 2013 — In the face of the enormous destruction and displacement wrought by typhoon Haiyan, Jesuit Refugee Service has decided the most practical immediate response is to provide logistical support to Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, a local Jesuit-led organization. The organization, under Director Fr Xavier C Alpasa S.J., is coordinating all Jesuit efforts to assist victims of the typhoon.
Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, left about 2,500 people dead in its wake and laid waste to entire cities and towns. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that more than 11 million have been affected by the crisis, some 140,000 houses damaged and major infrastructures devastated. Low-lying cities and poor neighborhoods were the most at risk.
The goal of the JRS support is to help Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan respond to the crisis as effectively as possible. Both program and field staff are being sent to the Philippines. Experienced program staff are needed to undertake needs assessments, write project proposals and actions plans, as well as provide reports to donors, ensuring the resources are used as efficiently as possible. Field staff skilled in meeting the challenges during crises will also be made available to local Jesuits.
"The country still reels from the Zamboanga City siege and the earthquake that struck Bohol and Cebu a few weeks ago. Evacuees in those afflicted regions are still homeless, and yet now new cries arise from people suffering in other calamity-stricken areas," said the Jesuit Provincial of the Philippines, Antonio Moreno S.J.
In addition to donating to the Philippine Jesuit Foundation online, you can also contribute by mailing a check to the Philippine Jesuit Foundation, P.O. Box 312, New York, N.Y. 10028. For questions, please call Father Victor Salanga, S.J., at 646-370-1526.