Church Providing Relief in the Philippines
Contributed By From Mormon Newsroom
SALT LAKE CITY
Update: November 13, 2013
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to assist with relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. Church Welfare Department personnel are working with Philippines Area leaders to establish a relief operations center and distribute supplies. Many areas affected by the storm are still without power or running water, and communication systems are not fully operational.
Seven of the 21 Church missions in the Philippines were impacted by the storm, but all missionaries are safe. Missionaries in the hardest-hit areas have been evacuated to safer locations, including missionaries assigned to the Tacloban area. Those missionaries are now safely in Manila, staying in Church housing near the Manila Temple and missionary training center. Mission and area leaders will meet with missionaries in the coming days to evaluate their needs and determine future assignments. It is possible that some missionaries who are approaching the conclusion of their service may choose to return home. Missionaries in areas less severely affected by the storm will soon begin organizing to assist with relief efforts.
Many Latter-day Saints and others who have seen the devastation in the Philippines have contacted the Church wanting to know how they can help. They are encouraged to pray for those affected by this disaster. They may also consider increasing their fast-offering donations and/or donating to the Church humanitarian fund (http://give.lds.org/humanitarian-fund). The Church draws upon these funds to sustain its humanitarian work around the world. There are many opportunities to support other reputable agencies that also respond to disasters.
The Church has a vast, local volunteer force among the members in the region and is not seeking volunteers to travel to the Philippines as part of its relief efforts. In addition, the Church has learned that the most effective way to respond to disasters is to work locally, purchasing needed supplies in country as near to the disaster as possible. This not only ensures that the goods are appropriate for the area but it helps build up impaired, local economies.
November 12, 2013
Church leaders are concerned for the welfare of all those impacted by the devastation in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Members throughout the world have expressed their love and sympathy to those affected by the typhoon.
Church leaders in affected areas continue to establish contact with members and to assess and assist community needs. The LDS disaster response team is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant contact with these leaders.
Access into the Tacloban area is very limited. Water and power systems have been damaged or destroyed, creating a shortage of clean water. Communication is still problematic in the Samar and Leyte areas. Debris and downed power lines continue to block roads.
The Church is providing temporary shelter to over 14,000 displaced persons in 200 Church buildings and is working with the Philippine government and other organizations to distribute food, water, and other life-sustaining supplies to those in impacted areas.
Transportation is being arranged to send larger quantities of food and water along with blankets and tarps.
The Philippines emergency management agency reports more than 1,700 people are confirmed dead with that number expected to rise. Thousands are missing as search and rescue efforts continue. Nearly 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon. More than 23,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes.
Tuesday the Church reported that all of its missionaries serving in the 21 missions in the Philippines have been contacted and are safe. According to the Philippines Mormon Newsroom, 71 missionaries from the Tacloban mission arrived in Manila Monday evening where they were given warm blankets and a hot meal at the Missionary Training Center. The rest of the 133 missionaries will be arriving Tuesday or Wednesday.