TROPICAL STORM WASHI HITS THE PHILIPPINES
Cologne 21/12/11

Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief service, is supporting the emergency relief efforts in the Philippines after this weekend’s flash flood. A sudden rush of water caused by tropical storm Washi caught hundreds of families in the Cagayan de Oro and Iligan provinces on Mindanao Island unaware in the middle of the night on Friday. The Philippine association of the Order of Malta has so far airlifted 1,000 kilograms of food and medication to the disaster zone. More than 63,000 families, or 338,000 people, have lost their homes and belongings due to the storm waters. More than 280,000 residents have taken shelter in evacuation centres in the disaster area, and more than 1,500 people are injured. The death toll now nears 1,000.
 

The organization has worked with its local partners since Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, providing training in emergency relief management and helping set up projects in disaster risk reduction, since the island state is constantly afflicted by natural disasters.
 
Two partner organizations on the ground will distribute the relief packages to families living in remote villages which were severely affected by the floods. “Many places are not accessible by land due to the thick mud”, says Odelia Arroyo, Hospitaller of the Order of Malta’s Philippine association. “Entire villages have been wiped out. The people still need a lot of help: pails, mats, blankets, pots and pans, and hygiene kits. They will also need housing materials to rebuild, such as bamboo, nipa palm roofing and galvanized sheets for roofing”.
 
Malteser International has supported the Philippine association of the Order of Malta since Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, providing trainings in emergency relief management and helping set up projects in disaster risk reduction, since the island state is constantly afflicted by natural disasters. The effects of climate change are expected to cause even more distress, especially in countries like the Philippines. Strong rains and tropical storms could increase in frequency and intensity, and a sea level rise could make large parts of the country uninhabitable.

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organization provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work.

How you can help

Every donation, however modest, is most gratefully received. It will mean the Order of Malta can give support to those who are suffering.  Please click here <http://www.orderofmaltacanada.org/html/donations.shtml>  or

select the Donation button from the menu on the left and reference "Philippines" in the 'Add Special Instructions to the Seller' section on the final donation review page.