Oxfam plans to reach 100,000 people in first phase of crisis

Emergencies, General, Media Releases, News, Organisation news article written on the 16 Nov 2013

Aid agency working closely with local partners and community leaders in unprecedented operation

International aid agency Oxfam is working to help 100,000 people in desperate need of water, basic sanitation and shelter in the areas worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke, said families were desperate for basic essentials like food and water and will today travel to Daanbantayan in Northern Cebu to assist with more aid distribution in the area.

Struggling families will be dependant on food aid for months, as local supply centres have been emptied and farm crops destroyed.

Dr Szoke yesterday travelled to the town of PayPay in northern Cebu, hit hard by the typhoon, to help distribute hygiene packs containing soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, plastics, mats, blankets and other basic necessities to families in the area.

While there Dr Szoke spoke to a woman called Annie who had three children – an eight-month-old boy and two girls, aged three and two and had lost her house in the typhoon.

“We asked Annie what she needed and she said simply, ‘everything’. Everything had gone,” Dr Szoke said.

“Annie told us: ‘After the typhoon, we feel aftershock. I don’t know how to react, how to overcome this kind of damage’.”

Today, Oxfam has 4 teams in the affected areas (Leyte and Samar) providing household level water purification and has also sent emergency water supplies to Tacloban.

Oxfam is delivering sanitation kits to 10,000 people this week alone. A cargo with 16 tonnes of aid worth US$200,000 including water and sanitation equipment is arriving into the country today, for immediate distribution.