September 29, 2009
Churches and church-based organizations in the Philippines are helping thousands of families, who have lost relatives, homes and other properties after tropical storm Ketsana unleashes torrential floods.
The 24-hour downfall of rain, on September 26, amounting to more than a foot in a one-day period, resulted in devastating flashfloods and landslides, mainly affecting the northern island of Luzon.
Tropical Storm Ketsana has killed 240 persons in the northern part of the Philippines, with the death toll expected to rise, the British Broadcasting Company reported today. Tens of thousands remain displaced from their homes.
Ketsana has strengthened into a typhoon and is battering Vietnam and Laos.
UCC/CWS RESPONSE: The United Church of Christ and Church World Service are responding through local partners in the Philippines. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines, a long-time UCC/CWS partner, reports that member churches have opened their doors to survivors as evacuation and relief centers. Christian Aid, another partner, reports that its local partner, Socio Pastoral Institute, is working with poor urban communities in the riverside areas of Quezon City.
Flood damage to homes is reported to be severe with many in poorer neighborhoods completely washed away. Almost all affected families lost all their possessions. Many residents have also lost their means of livelihood as factory workers, tricycle drivers and small vendors. Other Christian Aid partners are conducting assessments.
UCC/CWS has sent an immediate One Great Hour of Sharing solidarity grant to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and will support an appeal being prepared by NCCP and Christian Aid. UCCP & NCCP have already indicated that requested relief assistance will include food, drinking water, non-food relief items, basic medicines and personal hygiene needs. Christian Aid's partner SPI has indicated initial plans to address the needs of 350 urban poor families through distribution of relief goods. This would include food, water, clothes, candles, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and cooking items, such as pots and pans.
UCC/CWS also expect to support relief efforts of partners in Vietnam and Laos in the wake of Typhoon Ketsana.
How to Help:
1. Pray for the people of the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos, their leaders and emergency and humanitarian aid workers.
2. To assist impacted families, you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "OGHS International Emergency Fund/Typhoon Ketsana" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "OGHS International Emergency Fund/Typhoon Ketsana" to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to the OGHS International Emergency Fund – note Typhoon Ketsana in comments.
Thank you for your compassion and support.