ACT Members Continue Flood Relief in Philippines

After four typhoons over a span of three weeks wreaked havoc in at least five regions in the Philippines, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and its member churches and regional ecumenical councils have been involved in emergency response, providing relief assistance under the Rapid Response Phase to around 6,500 families.

Earlier this month staff of the NCCP, along with staff of Lutheran World Relief, visited Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija and Dingalan, Aurora, some of the worst hit villages, to assess the situation. Based on the extent of the damage, Action by Churches Together (ACT) reports that the continuation of the relief efforts and the start of rehabilitation assistance to the severely affected families is deemed necessary.

The assessment came to an initial target figure of $1.3 million, which was immediately scaled down by NCCP to $648,000. In coordination with the ACT Coordinating Office (CO) the target was further reduced to the current $316,579, taking into account the level of funding of earlier NCCP appeals. According to ACT, it is agreed with NCCP that the appeal can be revised in case additional funding is received.

NCCP, which is also a member of ACT, proposes to assist approximately 8,000 families through the provision of following:
- further relief assistance to 5,500 families not reached during the Rapid Response phase
- agriculture assistance to 1,000 farmer families through the distribution of seeds
- farm implements
- livestock and poultry
- materials for repair and construction of houses for 1,000 families
- restoration of community facilities through cash for work to 750 families and workshops related to environmental degradation and preparedness.

In addition to the above mentioned assistance, the appeal includes the Rapid Response Phase as well as an amount for ACT CO coordination and communication with the aim to support the NCCP and its members in the monitoring of this program.

According to ACT, the number of dead reached 900 by mid December while 240 were still missing. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless and there is extensive damage to property, infrastructure and agriculture. Communication and power lines have been broken, major roads eroded or blocked by mud and debris leaving the affected areas isolated.