Photo: Malteser International
18-11-2013 Cologne/Manila. In San Antonio and Amandayehan, two coastal villages in Southern Samar which were nearly completely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Malteser International will distribute food, household items, and hygiene articles to almost 7,000 people in need of aid. The two villages are located across from Tacloban City on the San Juanico Strait, one of the disaster’s most affected areas.
“Food is the biggest concern at the moment,” reports Sandra Harlass, emergency relief expert at Malteser International, who is currently conducting the rapid assessment on Samar. “Even if people have money, they can’t buy food, as nearly all stocks have been washed away by the storm surge, and all markets within a 50 kilometer radius have shut down. Most of the harvest has also been destroyed. People here will be food dependent for the coming months.”
Several large tents with capacity for up to 30 people are also being sent to the region. The tents will house a temporary clinic for a team of four doctors and nurses, as well as a playroom for traumatized children receiving psychosocial support. The organization will also distribute relief packages on the island of Bantayan in northern Cebu and provide vouchers for construction materials in Bohol, where an earthquake in October had already left thousands displaced.
An additional team of Malteser International experts will fly to the Philippines this week to support the Philippine association of the Order of Malta with the relief efforts. Cordula Wasser, program manager, Dr. Marie Theres Benner, public health expert, and Arno Coerver, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) advisor will conduct additional assessments and plan future relief measures. The poor sanitary conditions in the disaster zone will be a focus of the visits.
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Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation 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.