United Church partners in the Philippines have appealed for emergency relief funds to assist nearly two million Filipinos displaced by heavy monsoon flooding. Non-stop rains started on August 6 and flooded many parts of Luzon island, submerging most of its cities and provinces. Floodwater in many villages reached rooftop levels. It is estimated that more than a month’s worth of rain fell on the capital city of Manila and other areas in a short 48 hours. Some 60 people have been reported killed and nearly two million displaced. The Philippine Government Department of Agriculture estimates agricultural damage at US$3.6 million.
In an alert, ACT Alliance has estimated that over 450,000 families, or nearly two million people, have been affected. Over 60,000 families are staying in 488 evacuation centres, while nearly 50,000 families are staying with their relatives and friends. Many evacuation centres, overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of displaced people, have been unable to provide enough warm meals and other needed relief.
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), a United Church Mission and Service ecumenical partner in the Philippines, has appealed for support of its relief effort which, in the words of NCCP General Secretary Fr. Rex Reyes, “seeks to be an ecumenical response to the survivors of the torrential monsoon rains.” Fr. Reyes has requested special prayers on August 19, as well as a financial contribution to the NCCP’s relief operation.
All United Church partners in the Philippines are involved in relief operations in their respective areas. The United Church has contributed, from its Emergency Response Fund, $10,000 to ACT Alliance for its relief operations in the affected areas that involve the NCCP. Also, the United Church has contributed $5,000 to Karapatan, an associate of the NCCP. The United Church may contribute more funds from the Emergency Response Fund based on the needs of our Philippines partners.
In addition, The United Church of Canada lifts up in prayer the many Filipino families and individuals so devastatingly affected by the floods, as well as its Mission and Service partners in the Philippines as they work to brief relief and solace to their people.
The United Church calls on its members across Canada to hold the Filipino people and United Church partners in the Philippines in their prayers, especially on August 19, according to the wishes of the NCCP.
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