January 4, 2021
By Janice Biehn
On November 1, 2020, Super Typhoon Goni (Rolly) slammed into the Philippines with catastrophic winds, torrential rainfall, severe flooding, mudslides and storm surges. It was the world’s most powerful tropical cyclone this year so far. Typhoon Molave (Quinta) hit the same region a week prior and another violent Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) hit the country on November 11. More than 1.4 million people in five regions across Luzon were affected. These disasters have occurred while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a serious public health risk. It has already caused the Philippine economy to contract by 7.3%, further impoverishing the most vulnerable and poorest Filipino families.
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) issued an appeal for cash and in-kind donations and its volunteers immediately started responding to the needs on the ground.
PWRDF gave $20,000 to an ACT Alliance appeal. NCCP and PWRDF are both members of the ACT Alliance and longstanding partners. Established in 1963, NCCP has a wide network of churches rooted in the local communities and well-trained staff. The NCCP Program Unit on Faith, Witness and Service (PUFWS) will manage the various phases of the project through its member churches, organized as an Ecumenical Disaster Response and Management Committees.
“Our goal is to promote unity among our members in responding to the impact of Typhoon Rolly, where we see how we can complement each other’s responses, share resources with each other and coordinate to avoid duplication and reach more communities,” says Edward Santos. NCCP Humanitarian Program Manager.
The typhoon has put the affected region in a state of crisis. Many are without access to food, shelter materials, safe drinking water and hygiene materials, and income opportunities. The dire situation is further compounded for people with vulnerabilities: the elderly as they have to leave their homes and stay in the evacuation centers or temporary shelters, together with other displaced families, which makes them vulnerable to acquiring SARS, COVID-19 or other health problems.
NCCP aims to support 8,000 households who are among the severely affected. Priority will be given to hard-to-reach areas and unserved or underserved communities, where minimal government presence or public service exists. Particular attention will be given to people with special needs such as pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and people with disabilities.