Philippines disaster: how you can help

Posted on 14/11/2013 by



An urgent appeal has been launched to provide immediate relief and long term recovery for the millions affected as Typhoon Haiyan washed away homes, businesses and entire communities in the Philippines on Friday.

The official death toll stands at more than 2,000, though some reports say it could be exceed 10,000. The United Nations says more than 11 million people have been affected and some 673,000 displaced – this is greater than the entire population of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Disaster Response Committee is calling on people in the city to donate to the appeal via Mercy Corps, an Edinburgh-based international humanitarian organisation, to help survivors of the disaster.

Mercy Corps has responded to almost every major disaster in the last 20 years, including the Boxing Day tsunami, Haiti earthquake, Japan tsunami, the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa and the on-going Syria crisis. Based on their experience in the Philippines they will focus on providing immediate, lifesaving assistance while keeping in mind longer-term recovery.

They are working with partners to immediately evaluate distribution needs of non-food items including shelter, hygiene kits, and water.

Ali MacLeod, spokesperson for Mercy Corps, said: “The needs are great and there is a very real threat of disease out-breaks and further storms. With so many so vulnerable we urgently need the support of people here in our home city to help us to help people in the Philippines.

“Cash donations will  mean we can buy the items we need close to the disaster site, avoiding the high cost and difficulty of sorting, shipping, storing, and importing the goods.

“By purchasing materials in nearby markets, we can purchase exactly what is needed, support local economies and businesses and get aid to those who need it more quickly, and ultimately use our funds more effectively and wisely.’

Cllr Andrew Burns, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, chairs the Edinburgh Disaster Response Committee. He said: “I’m pleased to have seen very quick action from the government and aid agencies to deal with the impact of this disaster. For our part, we will be working with Mercy Corps who are already looking to the longer-term and planning to provide assistance for the rebuilding of those communities devastated by the earthquake.

“We hope that the people of Edinburgh will support Mercy Corps to help the Philippines as the capital has a long and proud tradition of reaching out to those in less fortunate circumstances. I’m sure they will act with the same compassion and generosity in response to this tragedy.”

The Edinburgh Disasters Response Committee was set up by Mercy Corps and City of Edinburgh Council in 2009. The Committee works in association with other city organisations to co-ordinate fundraising across Edinburgh (and East Central Scotland) to deliver a more effective humanitarian response to the survivors of major disasters.

People can donate by the following methods through Mercy Corps:

–       Philippines Typhoon response donation page on our web site:  and a dedicated landing page:

–       Facebook: Families in the Philippines are in urgent need after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated towns and villages, causing heavy damage from wind and water. Thousands of people are feared dead, and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced from their homes. Donate Now:

–       Twitter: Survivors of Super Typhoon #Haiyan desperately need our help. Donate Now:

–       Call 08000 413 060 or 0131 6625173

–       Cheque to: Mercy Corps Scotland, 40 Sciennes, Edinburgh, EH9 1NJ