The Philippines

© Jason Gutierrez/IRIN

On Friday 8 November, one of the worst typhoons ever hit The Philippines, affecting over 2 million people with an estimated death toll of 10,000 people. The people suffering from the typhoon are in dire need of support and solidarity!

SOLIDAR has decided to support our partner LEARN, an NGO in the Philippines that provides various services primarily to workers, both from the private and public sectors or formal and informal labour. LEARN has extensive experience with relief operations as shown by their support to the victims of the 2009 typhoon Ondoy.

LEARN is deploying a mission to the Central Visayas areas – which bore the brunt of the typhoon – to explore the actions needed. LEARN members who have been hit badly are mostly working in the public sector, electric cooperatives and coca-cola.

In order to support the work of our colleagues from LEARN and to enable them to deliver the needed support to the affected people, SOLIDAR has opened a bank account for donations:

Join us in our support for the people in the Philippines!
SOLIDAR Humanitarian Cooperation
IBAN: BE53 7310 0861 1753
BIC: KREDBEBB
Reference: Donation for humanitarian solidarity with Philippines

Throughout Europe, SOLIDAR members are working to mobilise support for the people in the Philippines, amongst them are Olof Palme International Center who has opened a fundraising call.

This Wednesday, 13 November, an extraordinary working session will be held in Brussels to decide on the cooperation and to define common actions between SOLIDAR members and partners.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact us on solidar[at]solidar.org.

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STATEMENT FROM LEARN (11 November 2013)

The images and reports from ground zero of Yolanda’s destruction are horrific. Even for a country frequently ravaged by calamities – natural and man-made – the images we are seeing are incomprehensible.

As of last night, the estimated death toll jumped from 1,200 to 10,000. There are still many areas in the Visayas – those without electricity and are made inaccessible to land transportation – where we still don’t have any information. In fact, we have yet to re-establish contacts with our members who are mostly working in the public sector, electric cooperatives and coca-cola. Not to mention that many of us who are out of harm’s way have friends and relatives in these areas. We can only hope that they are all safe despite the massive devastation.

As always, the poor are the ones that are hit hardest, especially those living in shanties along the coastal areas that were reportedly battered by 3-meter storm surges that wiped out communities up to 1-kilometer inland.

Contrary to many of their press releases, government preparations were woefully inadequate even if there were ample warnings before Yolanda’s landfall. Prepositioning of relief goods was apparently non-existent in many areas like Ormoc and Capiz. And relief efforts were slow in coming. This was especially true in Tacloban City where law and order collapsed. Unable to get help, some people resorted to expropriating foodstuff, clothes, beddings and other necessities from various department stores in the city.

Thank you for all of those who send solidarity messages asking our situation as well as what solidarity action is appropriately needed. In response, the Executive Committee of SENTRO is requesting all members and leaders of all affiliates to donate money to SENTRO’s solidarity fund for the victims of Yolanda. This fund shall be earmarked to help our affiliates whose members were affected by the disaster.Furthermore, because of the sketchy reports due to communication breakdown, we will be dispatching a team to go to this areas to advise us on the appropriate slidarity action needed. We hope and pray that our comrades, friends and relatives living in these devastated areas are alright

In solidarity,

Rey Rasing
LEARN, Philippines

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