International Aid Agency Oxfam is preparing for Typhoon Haiyan to hit land in Vietnam in the coming hours while also deploying teams to areas hardest hit by the typhoon in the Philippines and appealing for funds to help victims of the super storm.
In Vietnam, where Typhoon Haiyan is due to make landfall at about 4pm AEST time, Oxfam staff are ready to launch assessment teams and are closely coordinating with other agencies and Vietnamese authorities. Based on experience, the likely needs that Oxfam will respond to will be access to clean water, sanitation and emergency shelter.
Oxfam Chief Executive Helen Szoke said staff in Vietnam were also coordinating with the Vietnamese Government who have been working hard to evacuate people to safety before the storm hits.
“Oxfam has a strong presence in Vietnam and has been working with communities for many years on disaster preparedness – identifying risks with local communities and working through evacuation plans, emergency stocks, and other methods of reducing the impact from disasters,” Dr Szoke said.
“We have staff who have already been working on damage from Cyclone Nari in Vietnam last month who are ready to respond to this latest threat and of course we are particularly concerned for those communities already struggling to cope after the flooding caused by Nari.”
Oxfam has also launched an appeal to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
“As more and more information comes out of the Philippines today it is becoming clear that entire communities have been destroyed and that there is going to be enormous need across the provinces affected,” Dr Szoke said.
“Emergency response will focus on providing basic needs of emergency shelter, water and sanitation while managing the risk of disease from contaminated water in devastated areas. There are also more dangers ahead for the millions of people in the Philippines affected by this typhoon with a very real risk of things like landslides, flooding, contaminated water and disease.”
“People will face huge challenges over the months to come as many livelihoods will have been destroyed. People who have lost everything will need to rebuild their lives as the country recovers from the devastation in Haiyan’s wake.”
To donate to Oxfam’s Typhoon Appeal please call 1800 034 034 or go to www.oxfam.org.au
For interviews please contact Anne Wright firstname.lastname@example.org or 0411 035 695.