World Vision launches Typhoon Parma relief efforts

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela, Philippines, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - World Vision will begin distributing rice and other foods in the areas wracked by Typhoon Parma as part of its initial relief efforts to help children and families in northern Philippines.

"We are not waiting for sunrise," says Fe Olonan, World Vision program manager in Northern Luzon. "We will begin distributing rice and other food, as well as candles, in the next few hours."

Some 200 families in Isabela had been evacuated Friday night in preparation of Typhoon Parma. The typhoon, however, changed its course and speed and made landfall in Cagayan Saturday around 3 pm (3 am Eastern Standard Time Saturday). The typhoon is expected to head towards southern Taiwan and World Vision staff there are preparing up to two weeks' worth of supplies such as clean water, food and gas for electric generators.

Olonan, who oversees World Vision's development programs in Isabela and Cagayan, said that much more assistance will be needed in Cagayan, a nearby province which is about four hours' drive from Isabela. She said Cagayan's capital, Tuguegarao, is being hit hard by Parma's severe winds, with gusts of 204 km/hour. Roofs are being blown off homes and other buildings.

"We also are worried about the flooding in low-lying areas alongside the Cagayan River," she said from Isabela.

"World Vision has pre-positioned 350 sacks of rice in Cagayan for possible relief distribution," she said. "Additional food items will be provided by the local government. However, as of this time, we have no means to say if the supplies are enough."

According to Olonan, it is currently impossible to assess the needs and extent of damage in Cagayan. "Assessments will be conducted as soon as the weather calms down."

There are 10 coastal municipalities in Cagayan Province, which, as of 2007, had a population exceeding 10 million. World Vision is also concerned about the long-term recovery for survivors of Parma and Typhoon Ketsana, which slammed into the Philippines last Sunday.

With extensive crop damage on farms, many livelihoods will be lost for several months and food will be at a premium. In Manila, survivors of Typhoon Ketsana said the cost of some food had doubled.

About a week after Ketsana struck, some communities around Manila remain submerged in waist-deep water. Moreover, the presence of stagnant water raises concerns about waterborne diseases.

The relief, development and advocacy organization has been helping children and families in and around Manila by distributing family relief kits and setting up child-friendly spaces in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana.

World Vision is accepting donations to assist those affected by the typhoons in the Philippines as well as those affected by the Indonesia earthquake. Those wishing to help can visit or call 1-800-268-5528.

    -  World Vision donors support more than 106,500 children in the
       Philippines, including 21,750 children sponsored by Canadians. The
       organization has been working in the Philippines for more than 50

    -  World Vision is also responding to the deadly earthquake that hit
       Indonesia and will be distributing 275 family kits Bungus Timur, about
       20 km south of Padang, the hardest hit area, as its initial response.
       World Vision's long-term community development programs, where
       sponsored children live, are not located near Padang.

    -  World Vision is actively engaged in disaster risk reduction management
       by working with communities all over the world to help reduce their
       vulnerabilities to disasters like typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis.
       The organization says the recent series of disasters throughout Asia
       should be a wake-up call to the global community to prioritize funding
       efforts that reduce risk and save lives.

    -  World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
       organization dedicated to working with children, families and
       communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
       people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.


SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),; Alex Sancton, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3949, (416) 419-1321 (cell),

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