Mercy Relief’s (MR) second and third response teams were in Leyte province on Sunday to personally distribute much needed relief supplies to the typhoon-ravaged communities of Barangays Cabuynan, Bislig and Santo Niño in Tanauan municipality. In response to a direct appeal by its local partner, Citizens’ Disaster Response Centre, MR’s second team arrived in Cebu within 30 hours to assess the ground situations and procure the relief supplies comprising food packs, water and hygiene kits.

Logistics remain the single biggest hurdle for aid organisations operating within worst-hit Leyte with high competition for transport assets due to damaged vehicles, and affected logistical infrastructures which include storage facilities and port of entries. MR was able to accomplish its relief operations by trucking relief supplies via sea bridge from Cebu island in a journey that took altogether 12 hours from point to point, including delays.

The 5-man team met with the Heads of United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the response team from the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHACentre) at the United Nation’s On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) in Tacloban city to report on the NGO’s activities as well as to further assess the ground situations.

Explaining MR’s mode of operation for the upcoming missions, MR’s Chairman Michael Tay commented, “With more NGOs bee lining into Leyte and Samar, MR is focusing its efforts to serve those that have yet to receive substantial food relief and critical survival needs in other provinces in the Western Visayas that are equally devastated.”

The fourth response team is expected to be deployed later this week to continue serving the stranded communities and increase the intensity of aid delivery.

 

More than four million people are still without homes since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Visayas.

 

Communities live in evacuation centres and temporary shelters with limited essential needs.

  

MR’s second and third response teams personally distributed SGD30,000 worth of food packs, hygiene kits and clean water to the affected communities in barangay Cabuynga, Bisliq and Santo Nino of Tanauan municipality.

 

2,500 families benefited from the relief distribution.

 

(left) MR team demonstrating on the usage of the water filtration system, PedalPure which was deployed to the cities of Ormoc and Palo. (right) The team linked up with other relevant aid agencies at the United Nation’s On-Site Operations Coordination Centre in Tacloban city to discuss on the ground situations and the next wave of relief operations.

In Singapore, MR has launched an official fundraising appeal for the relief and recovery effort of the typhoon-stricken communities. Private institutions and corporate groups such as the Chen Su Lan Trust, SAP Asia, Rahmatan Lil AlaminFoundation, ABN AMRO, SilkAir and MakanSutra have stepped forward to contribute and support MR’s ongoing humanitarian efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The public can also make their donations through donation boxes located at retail outlets and counters of Wing Tai Retail, SaladStop!, KOI Café and Fish & Co.

This Friday, Blu Jaz Café is holding a fundraising event for the public which includes a silent art auction, bake sales and performances by an all-star lineup of musicians and DJs, at its premises in Bali Lane to support MR’s operations. Independent photography group, ClubSNAP, together with other several Filipino photography clubs will be organising a charity drive called ‘ClubSNAP Kapit Filipinas – Wishes From Singapore’ over the next 2 weekends involving instant SGD10 prints for the public across Orchard Road.

* MR has been implementing relief and development projects in five areas across the Philippines – Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Mindanao, Zambales and Visayas – continuously since 2006 as part of its disaster risk reduction efforts in line with the Hyogo Framework and AADMER.  Click here to read more on “MR in the Philippines”.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org