Christmas week 2017, major typhoon Vinta devastated close to 10 million people in southern Philippines. These areas were already heavily damaged in 2013 by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Asia America Initiative with our local partners are conducting long-term emergency relief and providing food and water to thousands of newely displace families. We also provide shelter materials, hygiene supplies, medicines and other post-trauma services to a target of 30,000 persons, mostly children and the elderly. "Asia America Initiative is a life saver for many families in our community in Jolo," says recent typhoon survivor Rohelyn, mother of a 4 year old son, whose house roof was blown off by 100 mile per hour winds during the early morning hours of December 23 during Typhoon Vinta.
In Cuartero, Capiz, wind has damaged roofs of schools that were previously repaired after Super Typhoon Haiyan. "The beauty of AAI is that we can respond rapidly to the needs of people while it can take weeks or months for the government to reach the rural areas," states high school teacher Ramie, who also serves as an emergency relief volunteer for AAI along with many other teachers and students.
"In Lanao del Sur, more than 300,000 recent refugees had their temporary bamboo and plastic tent shelters ripped apart or collapsed by forceful typhoon winds and drenching rains" observes Dr.Yolanda Ortega Stern who is a relief specialist for the southern Philippines. "The unselfish action and willing partnership that AAI extends to many smaller community-based organizations makes the difference in the survival of thousands of people who have no place to run to, especially children and the elderly. Importantly, this brings families and neighbors closer together to assist each other."
On behalf of Asia America Initiative, we sincerely appreciate our donors from the GlobalGiving network who have made our work possible and have enhanced our effectiveness. In the Philippines, against all odds, we continue to provide assistance in one of the most impacted countries at the epi-center of climate change and social instability. We wish you all a blessed New Year. With your help, we pledge to continue our efforts in 2018.