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ChildFund still on the ground in the Philippines

ChildFund is committed to helping families and communities recover from Typhoon Haiyan over the long term.

In many parts of the world, thoughts of November’s Typhoon Haiyan have faded, along with news headlines. But for 16 million affected Filipinos, the effects of the storm have remained constantly visible and inescapable. Three months later, ChildFund continues to assist survivors of the typhoon, which killed 6,000 people and left 1,800 missing, as well as 1.1 million homes damaged or destroyed.

In any emergency, ChildFund’s response rolls out in two parts: relief and recovery. ChildFund was one of the first organisations to provide relief such as food packs, clean water and non-food resources, as well as being the first organisation to establish Child-Centred Spaces, safe and supervised areas for children, after the storm.

Trained professionals provide psychosocial support through structured play activities to help children deal with the loss of loved ones and homes, the stress of living in evacuation centres and other traumatic events associated with the typhoon. ChildFund also has assisted families with shelter, health needs and child protection, major tasks in the aftermath of disasters because parents are often too busy to supervise their children at all times.

While basic needs like food and child protection are met during the relief phase, recovery efforts to help families and communities rebuild often take more time and funding. Restoring livelihoods and rebuilding houses and schools, along with other infrastructural needs, are paramount in the months and years after a disaster.

ChildFund, which has been in the Philippines since 1954, is providing support in the provinces of Leyte, Capiz and Northern Cebu, including one of the hardest hit cities, Tacloban. ChildFund is committed to rebuilding the lives of impacted communities and raising funds to help the people of the Philippines get back on their feet.

Since November, ChildFund has devoted many human hours and financial resources to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, but the communities need more help, particularly as focus shifts from the storm to other events in the world. ChildFund has committed millions of dollars for the relief phase and for recovery efforts, which include rebuilding livelihoods, strengthening community-based child protection protocols and preparing communities for future disasters.

The storm itself has passed, but the devastation in its wake remains a daily struggle for millions of Filipino families.

“There is so much work still to be done,” reports Julien Anseau, ChildFund’s Asia region communications manager, who is in the Philippines this week visiting some of the worst-hit areas. “Communities are scarred, the destruction is immense. These families need a long-term commitment to help them rebuild for the future.”

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