Humanitarian organization Oxfam Pilipinas and other private groups continued to seek help for displaced residents more than a week after the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai).
Oxfam called on the government on the government to prioritize the rebuilding of typhoon-damaged houses and properties.
Country Director Lot Felizco of Oxfam said that it’s already enough for survivors to have spent Christmas in evacuation centers.
“Typhoon survivors already spent Christmas in evacuation centers; let’s not keep them there for New Year’s Day too as we are still battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” Felizco said.
According to her, both residents and local authorities have requested their need for construction materials to help them repair and rebuild their homes.
In the meantime, some residents are residing in temporary makeshift houses they built from salvaged materials.
“These are not sturdy or safe enough as rainfall is continuous in some parts of the country,” Felizco said.
Helping survivors rebuild their homes will also help decongest evacuation centers, she pointed out.
The organization received reports on the ground that some evacuation centers were cramped with rooms being occupied by two to three families at a time.
“This raises major health risks as it is impossible for them to observe physical distancing,” Felizco said.
She also noted the lack of sanitation for the victims.
“The lack of water and sanitation facilities make frequent hand washing and proper hygiene habits more challenging for typhoon survivors,” Felizco said.
As of writing, Oxfam Pilipinas, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and other partner organizations have already provided relief packs to Odette victims in the island barangays of Siargao in Surigao del Norte.
With support from UNICEF Philippines, Oxfam and local organization SIKAT will soon distribute water and hygiene kits with aquatabs in General Luna, Siargao.
UNICEF Philippines likewise sought more donations to help provide shelter, medical supplies and relief goods for children and their families.
The organization posted the link of its donation channel on Facebook on December 28.
“UNICEF Philippines is calling on governments to raise climate crisis impacts on children up on its agenda: Listen to the voices of children and young people when it comes to climate-related decision making,” UNICEF said.
Interested individuals can donate P1,000 for child protection, P750 for a family dignity kit, P600 for health and nutrition, or any other amount to support their cause.
Youth organization For the Future Philippines, which was among the groups that launched donation drives before, posted on Instagram that their channels for in-kind and cash donations are still open.
They also called for construction materials, portable lamps, tables, medical supplies, hygiene kits and other relief items for the typhoon-stricken provinces.
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Waves for Water Philippines, a charity organization for quality water, specifically asked for funds to purchase clean water systems.
They have already deployed 994 water filters to Palawan, Cebu, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and other affected provinces.
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As of December 27, the death toll due to Odette rose to 389, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The NDRRMC also reported 64 missing individuals and 1,146 injured.
Several countries, companies and organizations have previously pledged humanitarian aid to help the Philippines recover from the devastation of Odette.
These include Apple’s Tim Cook, the Canadian government, USAID, the European Union and the United Kingdom.