Integral Disaster Response Launched – Cyclone Haiyan, the Philippines

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Integral Alliance has launched a joint Disaster Response for the impact of the devastating Cyclone Haiyan. Latest figures, which are changing daily, estimate that 11.3 million have been affected by this devastating cyclone. Approx 670,000 people are displaced, and estimated fatalities are at least 10,000. Initial rapid assessments are on-going and many areas remain inaccessible. Bad weather is also significantly hampering relief efforts.

So far, 18 out of Integral’s 19 Members have opted into the Integral response – out of those 8 are responding either directly themselves or through their partners. All will launch fundraising appeals for public and private funds within their own constituencies.

Debbie Toribio, Executive Director for Food for the Hungry Philippines, is currently in Manila. She says, “The devastation is huge as you can see from the news. It is a nightmare. Food for the Hungry Philippines is working alongside local partners within the area, with immediate relief - food, water, non food items and medicines. Food for the Hungry is focused on Northern and Eastern Samar, selecting the most impacted communities first.”

She continues: “Expressed needs are for food and water, and then medicines, clothes and shelter. There is also a need to help survivors process what happened and help them deal with their loss and trauma. Effective coordination would, of course, greatly add to our efforts in reaching out beyond the immediate needs, to provide services like Child Friendly Space for children, psychosocial support for children and youth, and the construction of houses and schools.”

Medair also has a team in the Philippines. Mark Screeton, Medair’s International Director says, “We had our emergency response staff on the ground in The Philippines within hours of the departure of the typhoon, and true to our mission, our teams are seeking out the most vulnerable in very remote areas, so that Medair can help those who need us the most. Two of our areas of expertise‒WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and emergency shelter‒are in great demand due to the extreme nature of this record-breaking catastrophe.”

Integral is enabling its Members to coordinate their activities in The Philippines in the areas of assessment, common partners and operations. Jan Eyre, Integral’s Programmes and Disaster Management Coordinator says, “On our first conference call I was struck by our Members’ determination to coordinate closely on the ground regarding needs assessments and partner information. But also moving on from there, exploring options for a deeper collaborative approach, I was very encouraged by the momentum there was to form a multi-agency Integral team in country. The feeling from our Members is very much that, particularly due to the scale of this devastating disaster, we can bring the most help to those who need it through more intentional Integral coordination. Our hope and prayer is that ultimately we will be able to assist more communities and leverage more funding as Integral by combining our strengths, resources and expertise for the people of the Philippines.”

Click here for the latest news about Cyclone Haiyan

Integral Alliance is a WEA affiliate and has served as a global partner to the WEA in the field of relief and development since 2006. Integral contributes to the WEA’s goal of fostering Christian unity around the world through working with its Members on a more integrated and collaborative strategy in disasters.

All Integral Members sign up to the Red Cross Code of Conduct and Sphere Standards, and Integral has developed an agreed Quality Standards Statement amongst its 19 Members.