Over a month after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, displaced families are understandably eager to return home and begin rebuilding. There has been a shortage of building materials in the country, but as more shipments make their way to battered islands, survivors are setting out to repair damage or set up temporary shelters.
Even in more remote areas that receive little assistance, resourceful residents are salvaging what debris and timber they can.
It's communities like this, farther from main distribution channels, that we targeted to receive new recovery kits with construction supplies like hammers, shovels, nails and tarps.
"I discussed with the village leader and the community what they needed most," Emergency Program Manager Dewi Hanifah explained of the first visit to Julita. "They wanted supplies that they could use for the longer term. Because most people work as farmers, they can also use the tools in these kits for their work and lives in the future."
Julita is an inland municipality deep in the eastern Philippines. Its remote location — accessed by a long drive over muddy, storm-ravaged roads — has made it difficult for the government to provide the area with relief.
Additionally, we distributed hygiene and cooking supplies including essential items like soap and detergent, and cooking and eating utensils. Over 400 families in Julita also received emergency rice distributions — a total of five tons — as the need for food remains an urgent priority for those displaced by the storm.
In all, we reached 1,800 families in 14 villages in Leyte province that were most affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The supplies help meet their day-to-day needs and give them the opportunity to focus on long-term rebuilding.
"It was wonderful to see the families' faces when they received the reconstruction kits. They haven't received any other help like this, and they kept saying how much they needed it," Dewi said.
Because of you, Mercy Corps is able to reach thankful families in remote locations who have yet to receive critical, if any, aid. And it is not too late to make more of an impact in 2013. You will reach more survivors of Typhoon Haiyan with lifesaving food, critical supplies and support that helps them recover and begin rebuilding.
On behalf of the resilient families in the Philippines who are now begining to move forward - thank you.
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