The next 365 days—long after the Typhoon Haiyan tragedy fades from headlines—will be critical in helping the people of the Philippines rebuild their lives, says UNICEF Canada.
The charity launched its new “Philippines 365” campaign Monday to ask Canadians for their ongoing support of typhoon Haiyan victims throughout the upcoming year.
The typhoon, one of the strongest ever recorded, struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, killing more than 5,000 people and displacing as many as 3.8 million.
“The next 365 days will be crucial for the children and families who have survived,” David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, said in a statement.
“We are urging Canadians to stand with those in need in the Philippines throughout the coming year by making monthly donations which will go directly to help those who will continue to be affected by the disaster.”
Canadians have donated approximately $3.5 million to UNICEF Canada for relief efforts to date, but thousands of victims face many more months of displacement and require ongoing support to get back on their feet, Morley said.
The federal government has offered to match donations made by Canadians, dollar for dollar, until Dec. 23, 2013. UNICEF says it will direct all donations from the campaign to the areas of greatest need in the Philippines.
“I have been working on emergencies for more than 15 years now, and I seriously thought I had seen it all,” said Nonoy Fajardo, disaster risk reduction and emergency specialist with UNICEF Philippines.
“I went to the city coliseum to talk to survivors. Even before they opened their mouths, I could see in their eyes the shock, fear, and frustration at what they had just been through. These people here have lost everything. They need everything.”
According to UNICEF, a dollar a day for a year ($30.42 per month) can buy 700 exercise books and pencils for an entire school; 75 cents a day can provide special water kits and safe drinking water for 20 families; and 50 cents a day can protect more than 500 children from measles and tetanus.