Southeast Asia has been hit horribly by a series of tragic events. It is too difficult to convey in words the lives that were lost and the damage done to homes and businesses. The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Western Sumatra… these were already countries with high rates of poverty.
As I look at these pictures, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed for the victims. But since I work at Give2Asia and we are fielding emails and calls from donors wanting to help – there is no time to feel sad. There are many, many generous donors – individuals, corporations, families, friends – that want to help. Like all disasters, we encourage donors to think about immediate relief and also long term recovery.
There are many groups like the Red Cross that can provide immediate aid such as clean water and food. As the media attention dies down in the next several weeks though, survivors will also need help to rebuild their homes and businesses. There are some donors that give because their heart aches as they see the destruction and want to take action right away. By making a gift instantly, they feel as if they alleviated some suffering of an unknown friend. While the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia may be far away, pain and suffering are universal emotions we all connect with.
There are also some donors that want to be more strategic and wait until the immediate relief is stabilized so they can see what else is needed. In-between stages of support – assistance to get life back to normal, clearing of roads, cleaning of homes are required along with finding food, shelter and clean water. Long term recovery also includes helping survivors rebuild their lives and their livelihood. This may include micro-loans to business owners so they can purchase supplies again. There is the psycho-social therapy needs for children, seniors and others traumatized by the disaster.
For donors that believe in long-term investment and prevention, they will fund projects that support disaster preparedness programs so that – if another typhoon, earthquake, or flood happens – the loss of life and the damages can be minimized. All types of donors are needed and there are many different ways to give – even small blessings and prayers shared quietly for those far away.
Below are some organizations accepting donations and the projects they are supporting. You may also wish to visit our previous post from Give2Asia: Typhoon Ketsana Relief Efforts. Steve Rood, The Asia Foundation’s Philippines country director writes also about Ondoy’s Onslaught.
Ayala Foundation USA. AF has raised $47,301.90 as of 10/1/09. The donations will be used to purchase relief goods recommended by the Corporate Network for Disaster Response. The relief goods packed are basic food supplies good for 2-3 days per household and based on a calculated caloric intake. An estimated 3,000 families will benefit from the donations raised so far.
UNICEF. UNICEF has provided $143,000 in supplies to address the urgent needs of affected children and their families affected by the typhoon. “In the next 48 hours, we will be delivering more hygiene kits, essential medicines, water purification tablets, portable toilets and family kits containing blankets and soap to aid in relief efforts.” www.unicefusa.org/donate/Philippines
Typhoon Ketsana swept through Vietnam and left 70 people dead, with more missing and hundreds injured. Over 6,000 homes were destroyed, along with roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. The following are organizations supporting relief efforts in Vietnam:
East Meets West Foundation: EMW has over 100 students in an ethnic minority boarding school in the central highlands province Kon Tum are trapped by floodwaters, and many in the communities there are in dire needs for food and supplies. EMW’s response teams are focusing on repairing homes with improved roofs that can withstand high-velocity winds and flooding, and water systems with elevated power systems, proper drains, capped wells, diverters and pumps to protect the rudimentary clean water and sanitation systems found in most Vietnamese homes. A new storm-proof house costs less than $2,000.
Photo courtesy of IRRI