Philippines aid efforts bring new hope
A German charity worker in the Philippines has told The Local how some hope is emerging from the devastation of typhoon Haiyan as the aid effort starts to take effect.
Speaking from Bantayan Island, one of the worst-hit areas of the country, German Red Cross worker Jörg Fischer described the devastation.
“The destruction is huge,” he told The Local. “Most of the houses have been destroyed. The people have lost everything.”
In the first phase of the Red Cross’ rescue operation at the former holiday paradise, tonnes of food and drinking water have been delivered.
Fischer, who is helping to coordinate relief efforts along with the Spanish Red Cross, said the people they had come across were not starving or dying of thirst but had nowhere to sleep, no electricity and no shelter from the elements.
The charity is delivering temporary shelters, hygiene packets and waterproofs as well as additional tonnes of supplies which departed Berlin's Schönefeld airport last Wednesday.
Fischer said he had seen no evidence of the looting and violence reported at the end of last week.
“There is no aggressiveness,” he said.
The other great threat in aftermath of the storm, disease, is currently being staved off in Bantayan thanks to efforts to supply clean water and medicines.
Fischer, who arrived in Tacloban last Tuesday, added: “At first I was simply shocked. When I arrived I could see the resignation among people, but the relief efforts seem to have given the people new hope and energy.”
You can help the relief efforts by donating to the German Red Cross here.