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Christian Aid partners responding to devastation in the Philippines

December 17 2011 - Christian Aid partner organisations in the Philippines are responding to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Washi across a huge area in the south of the country.

'Today, the country awoke to the tragic sight of washed-out houses, piled-up vehicles and debris and scores of bodies floating in rivers,' said Ramani Leathard, Christian Aid's Regional Manager.

'This is a very serious situation, with hundreds of people already known to have lost their lives and many more missing. Thousands are also stranded on the roads, some of which are impassable due to flooding and landslides.

'Phone lines and electricity have been cut off in two of the worst affected cities, Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, which are on the north-west coast of Mindanao island.

'Christian Aid partner organisations and their volunteers are assessing people's most urgent needs in and around those cities and also in Pagadian and Zamboanga.

'But already, there are very clear indications that thousands of people need help, due to the massive scale of the flooding, high winds and devastation in many areas.

'Our partners will be responding with emergency food and shelter, safe water, clearing operations and possibly cash, which helps families to meet their own most immediate needs.'

Christian Aid has already set aside £50,000 towards the immediate costs of responding to the disaster and it warmly welcomes donations to support the emergency work in the Philippines. It will consider launching a public appeal in the UK, depending on partners' assessments.

Ms Leathard added: 'Sadly we know that in times of disaster, the poorest families are generally the worst affected. They tend to live in the riskiest areas and their modest homes are the least able to withstand powerful winds and surging floodwaters.'


To arrange interviews with Christian Aid staff in London (UK) or in the Philippines, and for more information, please contact Rachel Baird on 00 44 (0)7545 501 749.

Christian Aid's Press Office can also be contacted on 0207 523 2446 or 07850 242950

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk