A volunteer at a Toronto church unpacking goods dropped off to help Filipino survivors of Typhoon Haiyan pulls out a sunshine-yellow gown, holds it aloft and jokes to a fellow helper about who is going to need a party dress.
Then she dutifully folds the pleated skirt and bodice into a square and places it on one of a dozen tables stacked high with clothes destined for Southeast Asia.
“We cannot refuse these people who would like to donate in-kind,” said Rosemer Enverga, who is organizing the fundraiser for Toronto’s Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish. “They just come in here, bringing their stuff. We have to accept them.”
“Canada is deeply concerned by the impact of this catastrophic typhoon,” said Minister Paradis. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with Canadian and international humanitarian partners to determine what assistance is required.” The situation related to Typhoon Haiyan is evolving rapidly. The strongest typhoon this year, it slammed into the Philippines on Friday, November 8, 2013, setting off landslides, knocking out power in several provinces, and cutting communications in the country’s central region of island provinces.
The typhoon was expected to track toward Vietnam, where it was expected to make landfall on November 10. Significant loss of life, a large number of injuries, as well as destruction of property, have been reported. Nearly 4.3 million people are reportedly affected, and although needs assessments are ongoing, humanitarian needs are expected to be substantial.
“In addition to the support announced today, Canada has provided support through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to provide immediate assistance to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan,” said Minister Paradis.
“The destruction is alarming, and Canada will continue to ensure needs are being met,” said Minister Baird. “Canada remains committed to supporting the most vulnerable people around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this devastating storm.”
The Government of Canada will continue to monitor the situation to ensure humanitarian needs are met and provide further assistance if required.
According to its web site, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been working with the Philippine Red Cross as it prepared rapid response teams and supplies for those worst affected by the storm.
Search and rescue teams are on standby and emergency supplies of blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene kits and water carriers have been sent from stores in Manila to a warehouse in Cebu ready for distribution in the coming days.
The Canadian Red Cross is on stand-by with both personnel and supplies, including its field hospital, ready to be deployed quickly if requested. To make a donation to the Typhoon Haiyan fund contact your local Red Cross or go to, www.redcross.ca/donate/donate-online/donate-to-the-typhoon-haiyan-fund.