Yesterday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has declared a state of national calamity as this will enable the government to respond more effectively to the devastation in the Eastern Visayas, which bore the full brunt of Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to make landfall. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) joins the international community in supporting the Philippines, its host country, during these difficult times.
IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler, on behalf of the Institute’s staff, has this message for the Filipino people: “ In my many years in the Philippines since 1992 I have never seen devastation of this scale. Like many of you, I am deeply saddened by the great loss of life and massive destruction caused by this typhoon. We thank everyone for sending their support to the Philippines during these dark times. We’ve had many staff asking how to help so we have set up a “Yolanda Drive” that IRRI will forward to those in need.”
With several areas still cut off, many residents in the worst-hit islands in the Visayas region are still searching for family members. Staff from IRRI’s Nutrient Manager project said that sadly they have not heard from their partners in Leyte because communication lines have not been properly restored in the areas where the partners are located. They are also trying to contact partners from Samar and Iloilo and we have not heard from them as well. We are all hoping that they are safe from harm.
IRRI, a nonprofit international research organization, will be responding through the Philippine Department of Agriculture, and will help assess damage—especially in the rice-farming areas—and provide assistance for the long-term recovery and rehabilitation of the affected communities by providing, for instance, seeds of flood-tolerant rice for planting.
For the emergency phase, IRRI staff and friends are putting together donations of money and supplies for the people affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Cash is urgently needed to fund food (rice), drinking water, temporary shelter, and hygiene kits.
The Yolanda fund drive has been started by the IRRI Partnerships Office (PO), urging units, sector groups, and individual staff to help in whatever capacity. The PO will accept contributions to the Yolanda Emergency Fund until Friday, 15 November 2013. The collected funds will be forwarded to the Philippine Red Cross on 18 November 2013. Following this date, IRRI staff are encouraged to donate their rice ration for the month of November to the typhoon victims, or to sell these and donate the money.
Another way to help
As for IRRI’s friends who are moved to send financial aid to the Philippines, IRRI recommends supporting the current relief and recovery efforts of our donors and partners who are now doing rescue and relief operations for Yolanda survivors.
Our partners involved in the post-Yolanda relief and recovery efforts:
- World Vision https://www.worldvision.org.ph/content/super-typhoon-yolanda-relief-efforts
- Give2Asia http://give2asia.org/yolanda
- Mercy Corps https://www.mercycorps.org/donate/help-typhoon-haiyan-survivors-hpsl
- Plan International http://plan-international.org/what-you-can-do/emergency-appeals/philippines-typhoon-appeal
- Poverty Reduction Options Validated In Drought Environments (PROVIDE)
- Catholic Relief Services https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?df_id=6140&6140.donation=form1
- CARE http://www.care.org/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan
Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).