Appeals for more aid to support Typhoon Haiyan victims

(AP)
A girl walks through the destroyed Our Lady of the Holy Rosemary church as mass is delivered at a neighboring construction site, Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Palo, Philippines

The death toll in the Philippines has reached over 6,000, making Typhoon Haiyan the deadliest storm in the country's history, similar in scale to that of the 2004 tsunami.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council gave the official fatality count as 6,009 last week, and has confirmed it is still looking for almost 2,000 missing people.

Over four million homes were destroyed in the typhoon and an estimated 14 million people in total have been affected by the devastation.

In the wake of the catastrophe, the Filipino government has launched a new appeal for help, unveiling an $8billion reconstruction plan. President Benigo Aquino is appealing for further assistance and funding from the international community in order to meet both urgent and long-term needs.

"From now until December 2014 we will be preoccupied with critical immediate investments such as the rebuilding and repair of infrastructure and the construction of temporary houses," President Aquino said in a statement.

He has assured that his government will use funding as efficiently as possible to help the millions who have been utterly devastated by the crisis and to protect the Philippines from future storms.

 "We cannot allow ourselves to be trapped in a vicious cycle of destruction and reconstruction. We are going to build back better.

"The task immediately before us lies in ensuring that the communities that rise again do so stronger, better and more resilient than before," he asserted.

Aid organisations and charities have reported a remarkable amount of support from individuals and families around in the world in response to the crisis in the Philippines. The Church of Ireland Bishops' Appeal has thanked those who have contributed to its Philippines emergency relief fund, revealing that is has received over £140,000 so far and generous donations are continuing to flood in.

The money is being released to Christian Aid and Tearfund partners in the region who are able to distribute funds and resources where they are most needed, and have spoken of the gratitude of the Filipino people for the support coming in from across the globe.

Basic needs are being provided for through food packages, water purification tablets, tarpaulin, hygiene kits and medical supplies.

The recovery effort is a long way from being over, however, and the Bishops' Appeal is asking for more people to give generously to help those affected by the typhoon.

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