How to Help the Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan

The supertyphoon (“super” meaning sustained wind speeds of over 240 km/h) that hit the Philippines three days ago was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make land; in Tacloban City alone, over 10,000 people are suspected dead out of a total of 221,000 inhabitants and survivors are reporting mass graves of up to 500 people. Over 600,000 people are currently displaced. Here are three relief agencies that might be going under the radar, and on Veterans Day, salute to the 80 Marines who boarded a plane to go help. (Here are some CharityNavigator.com-approved veteran support organizations, too: what a world!)

The Philippine Red Cross is mobilizing a massive relief effort on the ground (pictures on their Twitter), packing and delivering food and emergency supplies. They’ve also put up a family member tracing service and are taking donations here.

Shelterbox has been in country since the mid-October earthquake that injured almost a million people; their relief model, which they’ve deployed for Syrian refugees and other disaster victims, delivers operational tents that can house a group of 10, containing “blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack,” etc. Donations taken here.

ChildFund has been active in the Philippines for over 60 years, and is distributing emergency supplies and setting up “child-centered spaces” that offer counseling and support especially for children who have been displaced and lost family members. Donations!

All the big agencies (UNICEF, Save the Children, MercyCorps) are working too; info about those guys here. In Poland, at UN talks on climate change, the UN climate chief Christiana Figueres referred to the typhoon as part of the “sobering reality” of global warming, and Filipino delegate Yeb Sano has vowed to fast until a “meaningful outcome is in sight.”

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