World Vision was one of the first charity agencies to provide aid days after super-typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines. Six months on, they remain committed to providing assistance.
World Vision Australia donors, supporters and representatives gathered last week at the MLC Centre in Sydney to get an update from the charity agency about the work they've done in recent months.
Chief executive Tim Costello spoke at the event and expressed his gratitude to the donors who have made it possible for World Vision to provide assistance, not just in the Philippines but other disaster-prone countries in Africa and other parts of Asia.
The Master of Ceremonies acknowledged the attendance on the night of the Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Marford Angeles. The ConGen and Consul both expressed their thanks to World Vision for their assistance in the ongoing rebuilding of the Haiyan-affected region in the Philippines.
Costello said he plans to return to the Philippines in August this year. He was in Cebu last November, just days after the storm to personally oversee the relief work they were doing at the time.
The three-month report
In April, World Vision released its 90-day report on its emergency response program for typhoon Haiyan survivors. Among the highlights were:
* The agency's program, to date, benefitted 663,265 people - well above their initial goal to help 400,000 people. World Vision has now upgraded its target to help 750,000 individuals affected by the typhoon.
* The total budget to assist the Philippines after the storm is US$62.9 million. To date, funds provided by donors have gone on to provide food, shelter kits, NFI kits, kitchen kits, hygiene kits, clean water kits, unconditional cash transfers and other relief commodities.
* The breakdown of the budget is this: US$20 million for the emergency relief phase (November 9, 2013 to April 30, 2014), US$31.9 million for the recovery phase (February 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014) and US$11 million for the rehabilitation and transition phase (October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014).
* Among those who received assistance were affected households in 44 municipalities and 492 barangays (villages) in Region 6 (Panay), Region 7 (Cebu) and Region 8 (Leyte). In addition, 58 Child Friendly Spaces and 13 Women and Young Child Spaces were established.
* After the Emergency Response phase, the agency has moved on to the Recovery Phase, which began in February this year. The aim is to help 12 municipalities and 14,000 families through shelter rehabilitation, repair and reconstruction of health facilities, Cash-For-Work opportunities, Temporary Learning Spaces for schools, agricultural support and skills training for alternative livelihoods.
* More assistance will be provided on a needs basis, with the agency's ultimate goal being to ensure that communities can become independent of aid: for example, through sustainable livelihood programs.
Help After Haiyan offer financial assistance
Individuals and communities have provided donations to go towards this $62.9 million pot. Among them were initiatives by Australia-based volunteer group 'Help After Haiyan'. To date, the group has raised around $40,000 from various individuals and associations, including the 'Music for Haiyan' concert, 'Fashion for Haiyan' project, Book O'Clock, Marcus Rivera's Christmas show and the 'United' concert.
More donations are expected, including from a recent fundraising concert featuring X Factor winners Dami Im (Australia) and Rose Fontanes (Israel).
Help After Haiyan also hopes to raise $1 million through corporate donations this year and next year, primarily from financial services companies based in Australia.
The group also runs a social media-based advocacy program with more than 16,000 followers on Facebook. For more information on how to help or do a fundraising, go to www.helpafterhaiyan.com or https://www.facebook.com/helpafterhaiyan.